Transcript of Historical Advisory Committee Meeting, November
Source: Department of State, Bureau of Public Affairs, Office of the Historian, Advisory Committee on Historical Diplomatic Documentation Files, 1957-1990 (Lot File 96 D 292), Box 1, 1960-Min. of Meeting 11/4-5/60. Confidential.
Transcript of November 4 Session of the 1960 Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States
9:08 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Members of the Committee:
- Dr. Dexter Perkins, Chairman
- Dr. Clarence Arthur Berdahl
- Dr. Leland M. Goodrich
- Dr. Richard W. Leopold
- Dr. Philip W. Thayer
- Mr. Robert R. Wilson
Representing the Department of State:
- Andrew H. Berding, Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
- Edwin M. J. Kretzmann, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
- G. Bernard Noble, P/HO
- Frances T. Bourne, RM/S
- Velma J. Cassidy, P/HO
- Rogers P. Churchill, P/HO
- G. M. Richardson Dougall, P/HO
- Herbert A. Fine, P/HO
- William M. Franklin, P/HO
- Ralph R. Goodwin, P/HO
- Douglas W. Houston, P/HO
- Gustave A. Nuermberger, P/HO
- E. Taylor Parks, P/HO
- Richard I. Phillips, ARA
- John Gilbert Reid, P/HO
- William Slany, P/HO
- David H. Stauffer, P/HO
- Almon R. Wright, P/HO
- V. Voce
- E. Koontz
[Omitted here is a table of contents]
[The meeting was convened at 9:08 a.m., Dr. Dexter Perkins presiding.]
1. Opening Remarks
MR. BERDING: We want to welcome Dr. Wilson to our committee. We are delighted to have him join the Advisory Committee and I know Dr. Wilson will find any contribution you can make both important to us and interesting to him.
MR. WILSON: Thank you very much.
MR. NOBLE: Gentlemen, I think we might begin our session. I’d like first to introduce the various persons here.
[Whereupon those in attendance at the meeting were introduced by Mr. Noble.]
MR. KRETZMANN: Mr. Berding has officially welcomed you. I’d like to add to that that we appreciate the time you have put in on this. I know how much it means to take time off from other pressing duties of your own.
I think, in the careful report that Mr. Noble has made on the results of your consultations with us last year, you have reason to be at least 50 percent satisfied. Some of the things he recommended have been done, others have not been done, but he has explained both sides of it to you there. I think the paper that Bernard has prepared on the editorial problems is one that I am particularly interested in hearing you discuss because it raises most of our problems. I trust that you won’t mind, in our discussions with you, if there isn’t a solid front on the part of the Department because we ourselves are torn on some of these issues, principally the one of nearness to publication, on which there are quite some differences or opinion. But I hope that we can again have the kind of a session we had last year, where I thought the exchanges were extremely useful.
MR. NOBLE: There is a bit of housekeeping first. In your folders you have not only the dossier containing some of the things that are useful in our discussions today but also some suggestions or instructions regarding travel. I hope that they will be sufficiently clear so that we won’t have any inconveniences or misunderstandings on anybody’s part and my secretary will be glad to be of whatever service to you she can.
I should like also to welcome you here to this 4th meeting. I suppose it’s appropriate at this quadrennial period, as in our international life, to have a big round-up and as the committee determined at its close last session we were to have a kind of look-see at our operations more than we had in the previous three meetings. In accordance with this, I sent out that report to the members, which was prepared with the advice and help of the very able staff.
I call your attention to the items in the dossier here and, first, will you please turn to number 3, which gives on all external appearances at least a very sad look, the falling off look of publication of our volumes. And I will ask Ralph Perkins to say a little bit about that particular item.
MR. R. PERKINS: Well, as you all know, you have received the one and only volume which we have published this fiscal year, which is the 1942 volume, Volume I. That was foretold by the time we had our meeting a year ago. Unless we can get a volume cleared by this time, it is practically impossible to get it out during the fiscal year. We would have to have high priority to do it. The process of final editing and the indexing of the volume after it’s put into page proof and the other editorial work and printing work that goes on takes more really than half a year. So we have to be cleared by now practically, to get it out.
I might mention as far as the printing is concerned, of course the Government Printing Office is exceptionally busy during the last part of the fiscal year because of Congressional action, which they give necessarily priority to. The reason we have only one volume out is because of clearance difficulties. We have had volumes in galley before which, if they had been cleared, we could have gotten out. But there is really at present the nub of the problem.
MR. NOBLE: Well, I think if you look at the next piece in the dossier, Item Number 4, you will see that work here has not been at a stalemate during this period. You will see two date coverages there—October 1, 1959 and October 1, 1960.
THE CHAIRMAN: You’re directing our attention to Item Number 4 in the folder?
MR. NOBLE: Yes. If you go down the line there you will see how they have been in most cases advanced from one stage of preparation to another. In those cases there in the October 1, 1959 columns you notice they have already been released so you see nothing in the October 1, 1960 column. But will you look that over and see whether you have any questions to raise regarding it?
Volume V, 1941, was awaiting release last year and it’s still awaiting release. You know the history of that, I think.
THE CHAIRMAN: Volume IV for the Far East has been released?
MR. NOBLE: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: What area does that cover?
MR. NOBLE: The Far East. There were two volumes on the Far East.
THE CHAIRMAN: 1940?
MR. NOBLE: Yes, 1940-41. This one concerns Thailand particularly.
MR. GOODRICH: On Volume V, awaiting release last year, I think there were certain items there we considered last time and made certain recommendations.
MR. NOBLE: You have my report on that.
MR. GOODRICH: And can you say at the present time how many volumes will probably be coming out in the next year?
MR. NOBLE: I’m going to ask Ralph Perkins to report on that when you look down this list.
MR. GOODRICH: Isn’t this CIA clearance something new?
MR. NOBLE: It is something new, yes.
MR. KRETZMANN: It’s new but it’s going to be with us from here on out.
MR. GOODRICH: I know. I hadn’t thought I had seen that term before.
MR. BERDAHL: When you have page proof stage, it’s still awaiting clearance.
MR. NOBLE: We get into trouble when you use the word “clearance”. We passed these galleys around for clearance by the policy officers and so far as they are concerned they are cleared for publication. But there is still the question of finding quick release. We sometimes find that a volume has been cleared by policy officers but when it comes up a year later to be released, there are objections as to timing. So that is a problem we run into and will be discussing somewhat here also.
MR. BERDAHL: So the page proof stage is no guarantee of quick release?
MR. NOBLE: It’s certainly a nine-tenths ordinary guarantee, but not wholly. Are there any other questions on this? If not, I will ask Ralph Perkins to say something about the prospects for this fiscal year 1961.
2. Reports on Developments During the Year
MR. R. PERKINS: We have at the present time two volumes which have been cleared and not yet published: 1942, Volume III, Europe, which is in page proof and will come out without any reasonable doubt this fiscal year; and then there is 1940, Volume V, the American Republics, which has recently been sent to the publishing division for final editorial work to send to GPO to put into page proof and we should have that published this fiscal year.
MR. BERDAHL: Which one was that?
MR. R. PERKINS: Volume V, American Republics. The first one was 1942, Volume III, Europe and then 1940, Volume V, American Republics.
Then we expect to publish on the war-time conferences two volumes on the Potsdam Conference. I believe, Noble, you still have the expectation of getting out the Cairo-Tehran volume.
MR. NOBLE: Yes, we will say a little more about that book later.
MR. R. PERKINS: That will be five volumes that should come out this fiscal year. On the regular annual volumes, I’m taking the position I explained previously, that unless we get clearance by this time we cannot expect to get it out this fiscal year. So I’m listing those which will come out this fiscal year which we have already cleared.
Just to look ahead a bit, we do have six of the regular annual volumes in clearance process at present. So with any good fortune we should be able to have a better record the next fiscal year. I did not mention, of course, the volumes you know about, 1941, Volume V, Far East and 1943, China, which could be released at any time if the Department decided to release them, you see.
THE CHAIRMAN: They could be released, you say?
MR. R. PERKINS: I say they are ready for release any time the Department decides to release them. So we can not predict just when they will be released.
MR. NOBLE: Next we come to the—
MR. LEOPOLD: Bernard, excuse me, I take it there has been no discussion at any level of the China series since we met last?
MR. NOBLE: Well, there has been some discussion. And I want to say something to you about that.
MR. LEOPOLD: All right.
MR. NOBLE: Next we come to the committee recommendations with regard to the regular annual volumes and if you will turn to Number 5 in your folder you will note the reference to the recommendations and you will note that your recommendations really had some good influence. So the committee has justified itself very definitely and materially.
Now, if you will look down the list, you might want to raise some questions. Mr. Nuermberger can identify each one of these items, beginning under “General”, the Inter-American Neutrality Committee—the first recommendation was reconsidered favorably by ARA, our friends from Latin America and that area. If anybody wants to raise a question what that was particularly, okay. Those three items under “General” were reconsidered favorably.
THE CHAIRMAN: No, the second one was not.
MR. NOBLE: I’m sorry. The second one was not.
THE CHAIRMAN: What was that?
MR. NUERMBERGER: That was a parenthetical remark by Mr. Fenwick to have the Under Secretary remind GPO that the Legal Adviser did not examine his communication sympathetically. The Legal Adviser just didn’t think a parenthetical remark such as that should be printed. It really didn’t contribute anything. It was really in the nature of a personal remark.
MR. NOBLE: Under “Brazil” next.
MR. WILSON: I’m sorry, it was a personal remark on what point?
MR. NUERMBERGER: On not being notified with regard to a certain communication. It didn’t relate to it. All of these will be available to you during your reading period this afternoon in case you want to look at them personally.
MR. NOBLE: “Brazil, Assistance by the Department to the Government of Brazil in establishing a steel industry.” That is (a). Then (b), “Good Offices of the Department of State in settling the dispute between Brazil and the United Kingdom concerning the detention of the Brazilian vessel SEQUEIRO CAMPOS”, reconsidered favorably.
“Colombia. a. Cooperation of the United States in the elimination of German influence from Colombian airlines”, reconsidered favorably, and then one of them unfavorably. Would you like to have that identified?
MR. KRETZMANN: Apparently they are more interested in where they lost than where they won. [Laughter]
MR. NUERMBERGER: These happen to be references to personalities who were either pro-German or not favoring the Colombian plan.
THE CHAIRMAN: What is “WST” here?
MR. NUERMBERGER: West Coast affairs.
MR. NOBLE: Going on to the next one: “Ecuador, Cooperation of the United States in elimination of German influence from Ecuadoran airlines,” considered favorably.
Mexico, one favorably, one reconsidered unfavorably. You want to identify that one as reconsidered unfavorably, Gus?
MR. NUERMBERGER: Well, that was with regard to the claim settlement and there was a reference here, “in view of the arrogance and complete disregard of our rights with which the appropriations were carried out,” that particular phrase, they didn’t want to reconsider favorably. However, the point of it is later shown in the next one, “We should insist upon a large measure of justice for the claimant,” and what follows and which is left in really puts the viewpoint across. So we didn’t really lose on not including that.
MR. KRETZMANN: I think the whole process of settlement of the Mexican claims has become much more sensitive in view of the Cuban developments.
MR. NUERMBERGER: That is true.
MR. NOBLE: Next is the “Preliminary negotiations for a general settlement of outstanding questions between the United States and Mexico.” The first one was reconsidered unfavorably.
MR. NUERMBERGER: That is in the same category.
MR. NOBLE: That covers 1940.
MR. WILSON: Excuse me, this outstanding question: Does that cover more than claims, Gus, or just claims?
MR. NUERMBERGER: Entirely claims.
MR. WILSON: I see.
MR. GOODRICH: I’d like to raise a question about Mr. Kretzmann’s remark. It’s very interesting. I wonder if he will elaborate a little why the question of Mexican claims has become more sensitive in the light of Cuban developments.
MR. KRETZMANN: The Mexicans have looked with great favor on the Cuban revolution because they consider it a further repetition of their own and they can’t make any dent on the Mexican Government in connection with this expropriation without compensation, and so on. In view of the record of what we finally settled for on the Mexican claims, this now becomes a little sensitive in connection with Cuba. Dick Phillips has just arrived, who is much more of an expert. We are talking about the certain passages in the Mexican claim settlement that were not changed even though the committee had recommended the change last year. I pointed out that this has become increasingly sensitive because of the Cuban developments. Do you want to elaborate on that?
MR. PHILLIPS: Well, I don’t know. I think everybody here is familiar with the Cuban developments and the sensitivity of same.
MR. KRETZMANN: But we did finally settle with Mexico on five cents a dollar or something like that.
MR. NUEREMBERGER: That wasn’t cut out. We got all that in.
MR. KRETZMANN: I know, but some of these statements have become sensitive because of the current problems with Cuba.
THE CHAIRMAN: Here’s 1941 to consider. Do you have any questions?
MR. NOBLE: That was reconsidered favorably, the first one. There was a discussion with the Uruguayan and there is a reference here to the Uruguayan saying that this was with regard to the support on the Uruguayan proposal and it also involves the Uruguayan Foreign Minister and he said that Argentina would require special handling, which he was arranging both for the Argentine Ambassador and the Uruguayan Ambassador in Buenos Aires.
Next is a proposal by the United States to certain American Republics that they individually appeal to Spain not to become involved in the European conflict. We considered it unfavorably. Any questions on that?
MR. NUERMBERGER: The Department wished the various American Republic Governments to have their Ambassadors in Madrid speak to the Spanish Foreign Office, and it went on to say, “The Brazilian Government does not desire publicity on this, however.” We put in a footnote to this and we said, “Ambassador Cafferty reported that the Brazilian Government would take affirmative action through its Ambassador in Spain,” which was acceptable.
MR. BERDAHL: Did that stay in?
MR. NUERMBERGER: And that stayed in.
MR. NOBLE: Next is under (c). The first we considered unfavorably. Do you want to identify that?
MR. NUERMBERGER: This was with regard to a series of measures that the Argentine Government was going to use the exigencies of the war situation—this was in December 1941—to bring some pressure on the internal situation. Here’s a sentence, “In the ten years since the foregoing action was taken,” this is with regard to certain war measures, “the Argentine Government has adopted a series of measures and has in general maintained an attitude which served to cast serious doubt on the genuine nature of its intentions towards us and toward the problems of continental cooperation and defense.” Now, the sense of that is brought out throughout the documents subsequently. It’s a small thing.
MR. NOBLE: The final one on this list is Bolivia which was reconsidered favorably. So, on the whole, Mr. Chairman, we did pretty well.
MR. NUEREMBERGER: I believe there were 26 in all and 19 of them were reconsidered favorably.
MR. NOBLE: I’d next like to call attention to the committee recommendations, Volume V, 1941. The committee report recommended that this volume ought to be released for publication, but we have taken this up from time to time and find there is a fairly strong feeling in that area that the situation is such in that part of the world that this would be harmful to our interests and therefore it should not be released at this time. Do you want to resurvey that yourselves? You probably may want to.
MR. GOODRICH: Didn’t we make an earlier, briefer recommendation before the more thorough one last year on that?
MR. NOBLE: You mean the previous year?
MR. LEOPOLD: Yes. In other words, we have twice made a recommendation.
MR. NOBLE: Yes. Next, with reference to the committee recommendations on the China volume, you will note that under Number 4 there the China volumes are still, shall we say, on the shelf as a result of the action taken in 1957. The committee said that it regrets that a large amount of useful material should remain unavailable because of the reluctance of the Department to give clearance of these volumes. And at that session, Assistant Secretary Parsons made a statement to the effect that if we file these volumes and release them simultaneously—well, nothing has been accomplished on that front because of the difficulties of clearance. We would have to get clearance on these volumes as you go along and the prospect of compiling and finally putting in case bound form 14 volumes, one of them in case bound form already, there are extreme difficulties of getting clearance as we go along.
Unless we could have some guarantee that when they all are finally printed that then they be published, it looks like a two-time operation, but something I think we ought to follow up and discuss. What we would like, of course, would be to be able to publish the volumes year by year with the other regular annual volumes. The 1943 volume is now being held up. If we could publish that along with the 1943 regular volumes that would be, I should think, reasonably satisfactory.
MR. LEOPOLD: In that connection, I notice the last sentence of the preface to the general volume, 1942, where you call attention to the fact that the Foreign Relations series for 1942 also includes the unnumbered volume of China previously published, is this the indication that some day maybe it will become part of the regular numbering? Or is this just a discrete way of explaining what the situation is?
MR. R. PERKINS: It is an announcement in the preface of the China volume of ’42, but this is a special series and it was not given a number in the regular series. In Foreign Relations 1942, China, period, and presumably the remaining volumes of that series would come out as a special series. I think that might be, if we reconsidered that in later years and put them into the regular series we would have to have some editorial explanation of that time.
THE CHAIRMAN: The situation is substantially the same in regard to the China volumes.
MR. NOBLE: Yes. Mr. Steeves, who is Deputy Assistant Secretary, Mr. Parsons not being available now, will meet with the committee tomorrow at 11:30 for a discussion of this question. He is in New York now and will be back tomorrow morning. There has been some discussion of this matter. Senator Fulbright raised the question in a letter of July 1 to the Department, in which he called attention to the fact that:
The Volume 1942, China, contained a paragraph stating that it was the first in a special series of Foreign Relations volumes covering the relations of the United States with China covering the years 1942 to 1949. The preface to this volume is dated April 15, 1956. I understand that no additional volumes have been released, although at least one volume has been printed and is being stored. I should like to have a detailed report on this publication program, including an explanation for the delay.
Well, the Department replied to him saying:
The China Volume for 1943 was ready for release in 1957. On August 9, 1957, the Secretary of State determined that release of the 1943 volume should be postponed. The ground on which he based his decision was that we were spending great effort and hundreds of millions of dollars to maintain the security of Taiwan and to support our allies, the Republic of China. At the same time, the Chinese Communists are using every available means to discredit and destroy that government. The volumes contain material highly derogatory to the Republic of China which could be used by the Chinese Communists for their purpose. Publication of this material by the United States Government at this time would confuse and depress the people of Free China who look to the United States for support. This continues to be the Department’s position.
The question of releasing the compiled volumes in the special China series will be reviewed from time to time in the light of changing conditions.
On the basis of that letter, Senator Fulbright approached the Department again on September 20th and said:
It would be helpful to me to receive, on a confidential basis, of course, copies of the volumes with an indication of the material which it was felt was derogatory of the Republic of China.
So we replied saying:
In view of your assurance that these volumes will be received by you on a confidential basis, I am pleased to send a copy of a paper-bound volume for 1943 and the page proofs for the 1944 volume. Passages which might be regarded of special interest particularly, because of their political sensitivity, are indicated by clips on the pages.
THE CHAIRMAN: That was September 20th, the current year?
MR. NOBLE: Yes. So we haven’t had any response to that last letter. And that is the status of the China volumes and Mr. Steeves will be here tomorrow for you to discuss this with him.
I’d like to refer now to the Potsdam volumes. As you know, at that time there were certain items involving clearance and suggested—
MR. LEOPOLD: Excuse me, sir. But before we go on, has the committee taken a stand on this question of incorporating them eventually, since there is going to be this delay with the annual volumes?
MR. NOBLE: I think not. I think that is something for you to consider.
MR. LEOPOLD: We might discuss that, Dexter.
MR. NOBLE: On the Potsdam volume, you said: “It is suggested that the briefing paper on Spain might have been included. With regard to certain short passages for deletion, it is suggested that items 2 to 5 might have been included as well as 8 and 9.” This is covered in number 6, but I think I will ask Mr. Dougall to speak up and put in brief the explanation of the situation.
MR. DOUGAL: The situation on Potsdam was a bit different from the ones you just discussed in regard to the general volumes in that those were still in galley proof, so that reinserting material or not deleting it, if it was already set in type, was a simple process, whereas the Potsdam volumes were already in page proof with the documents numbered. So that reinserting an entire document was a major operation and reinserting some short passages would cause great editorial difficulties, particularly since the volume is already partly indexed. We decided, therefore, that we would not go back to the clearing officers on these items.
The Spanish paper had already been up to the Under Secretary level and he had said absolutely no. We thought the chances of getting him or higher authority to change his mind were practically nil, in spite of the view of you gentlemen. I did try to assist the scholar who wanted to know what our position on Spain was in the Spring of ’45 by including in a footnote instead of the text of President Roosevelt’s instructions to Ambassador Armour about three months before the Potsdam Conference, which had already been released by the Department some years ago and which put very clearly the displeasure that our government had with the Spanish Government; if anything, it put it a little stronger than the briefing book paper. But it did not touch on a few other things which the Bureau of European Affairs thought were sensitive. It did, however, deal with that portion of our Spanish policy which was discussed at Potsdam and so in effect we have that as a briefing paper instead of the short one which went along.
The other passages we thoroughly agreed with you, that they might be included, but even getting them through the reconsideration process would have meant delays, and if it meant re-indexing, rechecking, moving things from page to page, this sort of thing, that makes the delays much greater. So that we have put them, in effect, in a dossier which we can use with clearing officers in future arguments over whether such-and-such a thing can be cleared, together with your views on the annual volumes. And I think the cumulative weight of your views will be very useful in talking to clearing officers, where we can say, “No this is the sort of thing which over the past some years you have been raked over the coals for by the academic community which feels you’re being unduly cautious on these things.”
The status of the Potsdam volumes is roughly as follows: Volume I is off the press. It is not yet bound, but it’s available in paperback, and if you want to have a look at it during your reading period I will produce copies for you. We have asked GPO to type in six pages on which they made errors after the pages had been okayed for press. It said in Monotype, which has its own dangers, including the possibilities of dropping out individual characters, individual words which you can’t do very well in Linotype, and there were considerable number of these errors in the press process, the worst of which we are asking them to replace. It is ready any time, practically.
Volume II is in revised page proof, 1600 pages of text, so it is almost the equivalent of two regular volumes The front matter, which will run to well over a hundred pages, is done but we do not yet have that in type. The index is going to be the controlling factor on when the volume is ready to be released. We are holding Volume I, which is all pre-conference material, until Volume II is ready because without seeing what these particular documents were chosen as a preface for, it does not seem to us advisable to put them out separately. We have not been able to find out from the Division of Publishing Services how soon they think the index will be ready. They have had their fingers burned a good many times, I think, on being over-optimistic on estimates on this. They thought that one person would have to do the indexing of both volumes since the subject matter is largely the same in both of them, and I think they are right about this. It would make a much better index. But it means indexing over 2600 pages of rather tightly-packed material and that is a big job for one person to do. We do expect both volumes will be released early next year.
MR. NOBLE: Thank you, Dick.
MR. DOUGALL: May I ask how many copies of Potsdam Volume I the committee would like to have for perusal during their reading period?
MR. NOBLE: I warn you there won’t be much spare time for reading that.
MR. GOODRICH: Are there any problems of clearance here?
MR. DOUGALL: This is now water over the dam except for your criticisms on it.
MR. LEOPOLD: Dick, I assume that the 1600-page monster will be in this thin paper?
MR. DOUGALL: It will be on the thin paper so it will be approximately the same thickness as our current documents, 1950 to ’55, which ran 1700 and some pages.
MR NOBLE: Some of you may have read in the papers the latter part of August something—
MR. GOODRICH: I have the clipping right here. [Laughter]
MR. NOBLE: —something about the publication of highly secret documents and articles which were highly sensationalized, I should say, and on that we have had inquiries from the Hill also, both from the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and from the House so-called Moss committee. Senator Fulbright, on August 26th, wrote to the Secretary saying:
On August 25th the committee discussed the subject of the current newspaper series based on unpublished Potsdam conference documents. It would be desirable for the report to include answers to the following questions: On what terms were reporters Knebel and Bailey permitted access to the Potsdam documents? In what respect, if any, did these terms differ from the usual arrangements? Has there been any violation of the terms of access or Department Regulations either by these reporters or by employees of the Department of State? Are there reasons for the delay in publication of the Potsdam documents in addition to those given in the Department’s Press Release No. 483 of August 23, 1960? In view of questions as to whether or not the current newspaper series presents a balanced historical analysis, has the Department considered the desirability of publishing some part of the Potsdam documents prior to the Presidential election?
Well, the reply to that was this:
The publication of the four articles by Messrs. Fletcher Knebel and Charles w. Bailey must be viewed in the light of developments in the post-1945 years when outside scholars or other qualified writers were occasionally permitted to use Foreign Relations papers after they were cleared for publication but before the volumes containing them were actually published. Any qualified writer working on a book was thus, on his application and without discrimination, given an opportunity to check on Foreign Relations materials that were expected to be published in the near future. It was assumed that the documents would be in the public domain about the same time as the book would appear, and would serve as a check on any statements in the book which might be open to question.
He went on to explain that these papers were made available to Knebel and Bailey on the basis of their statements that they were preparing the book, just as earlier we had made them available to Herbert Feis for the preparation of his book which, as you know, is out on the Potsdam Conference, and then said that they were doing the book, so we thought we couldn’t discriminate.
The Feis case had been discussed at high level in the Department and it was decided to show him these documents which had been given the regular clearance by policy officers. On that basis, Knebel and Bailey were allowed to see them. Unfortunately, the Potsdam papers had not been published before the appearance of the two books, that is the Feis book and the Knebel-Bailey book, which now I believe is being put in the Reader’s Digest. The reason for this was that the discovery of relevant additional material on the Potsdam Conference in the late stage of the editorial work made it impossible to complete the publication and the two volumes of the Potsdam Conference until early in 191, because of extensive necessary revisions, page proof and the requirements of new pagination and the complete review of the index.
So we put out Press Release No. 483 to suspend the granting of access to such material before official publication, which was done to prevent the recurrence of such episodes, and in answer to his specific questions, which I think really are comprehended in what I already stated.
We also heard from the Walsh committee. A gentleman came down and had a long conference on the subject and accused us of concealing information. And he asked what the legal basis was for not making them fully available to anyone who might inquire as following our press release, saying we were going to stop this practice of being generous because of the possible abuse by newspapers. Our policy had been to make them available to authors of books, not authors of newspaper articles because a newspaper article, being a quickie, would be out of perspective and documents would not be available to check on as to the veracity and perspective of the article.
So the Moss committee wanted to know what our legal basis was for concealing these and we said, of course, it was the executive right to control papers and then we were in the process of trying to put out this information as quickly as we could and it had become administratively difficult to handle a situation of this kind as many people came in seeking access to the papers. So that is where this situation stands now.
MR. DOUGALL: Bernard, I think the committee might like to know why we thought it was worth while to do re-pagination, re-indexing on the new material, you mentioned it, when we had thought that it wasn’t justified for the Spanish briefing book paper. The new material which we found was in Mr. Bohlen’s personal files. We had to talk to him about these for years, as a matter of fact. We knew they existed. He was absolutely sure there was nothing of interest to us in them. Eventually, however—and this was early this year after everything was in page proof—he relented and said, “You’re welcome to look and satisfy yourself.”
Well, among the things which we found was a Taiwan map, which Bill Franklin is putting in, with Marshal Stalin’s red pencil on it and Bohlen’s original longhand notes, very rough ones, of President Truman’s first two private conversations with Stalin at Potsdam, on which we have looked high, low, and everywhere we could possibly think of for minutes. He assured us that he prepared minutes. We have not found them anywhere. We had nothing on them. So we came up with his original contemporary notes and are using them. We have also put in an appendix since they are so rough and the reconstruction of the notes which he made for us this year on the basis of the notes and his memory—I think that they are very good reconstructions, but because they are done 15 years later we thought it was necessary to put them in an appendix and draw a very sharp distinction as to what they were so that scholars can use their own judgment as to how valuable they are. The contemporary notes are also printed. But just putting them in required a fair amount of rejuggling.
MR. NOBLE: Those of you who read the newspaper article will recall Knebel and Bailey used that particular information in that conference that Bohlen spelled out between Stalin and President Truman.
Now, with regard to the Cairo-Tehran volume, the committee also made several suggestions. I will ask Mr. Franklin to discuss those and the status of the Cairo-Tehran volumes.
MR. FRANKLIN: Perhaps first it might be useful to point out a little further elaboration of what Mr. Dougall said on the hazards of history. Mr. Feis, whose name had been mentioned here, had access to some papers and in his book on Churchill, Roosevelt and Stalin there was some reference to the Tehran conference which I had never seen nor found. We looked for it with renewed vigor in the Department and did not find it. Mr. Feis told me that it was a Bohlen memo. He had found it in the Harry Mann papers. At this point we wrote again to Mr. Bohlen saying, “Really, don’t you have anything else?” He said, “I have my personal papers”. He has always been very clear with us and gave us all the material he had of any official importance years ago. We found this mixed in with personal papers, including this map on Taiwan that Dick referred to, and his notes which Mr. Bohlen hadn’t thought it was necessary to give to us because he thought he had transcribed all his notes—but he hadn’t. In all honesty, this is one of the horrible hazards of this thing.
On Cairo last year you recommended that we try to keep in a couple of lively innocuous passages by F.D.R. in his first conversations with Stalin at Tehran. You were not enthusiastic about our fighting any longer to try to keep in the papers not negotiated internationally but behind the American scene of discussions by F.D.R. were the Joint Chiefs of Staff with respect to post-war military security basis and strong points.
On the basis of your enthusiasm for keeping in the innocuous passages by F.D.R., which we shared, we appealed to Mr. Bohlen who took the original minutes which other people had wished to make deletions from—and Mr. Bohlen had a certain pride of authorship—and he said, “Of course they have to stay in.” In view of your lack of enthusiasm, we already pushed that three times at the level of the Secretary of Defense, we pushed it no further and they will not appear. Presumably some of those papers will appear elsewhere, in a story where admittedly they might be put in a better context, namely, a story of planning for post-war military security. This could conceivably fit in better in some of the military histories than ours,though at present I understand there are no plans to pick those up as such, because this was a theoretical discussion which did not materialize and they have taken the position that it’s just not worth it. They have got too much to say. So that is where we stand.
The volume has now been sent for page proofing, about the first third of it to begin with, and I think it’s beyond the rocks and shoals. I hesitate to say anything, but I think we are heading into the blue sea of page proof clearance. It should be published in the winter or the spring.
MR. NOBLE: I have no special episodes to report on Cairo or Tehran. So we will pass on further, Mr. Chairman, to a few other of your recommendations.
You made a recommendation with regard to paying more attention to memoranda and background material and you made a similar recommendation, I believe, the previous year. On this subject, I would like to defer discussion of it until this afternoon when you will have read some material we are recommending for you to read in addition to what you have read in the 1942 Volume I.
With regard to accumulative index which you recommended, either for all the years of a particular annual series or for all of the series over a period of years, we are still putting in the index for you and we feel that that is indispensable and because these volumes don’t all five or six or seven come out in the same year at the same time, you see, we are just on the verge of getting the 1940 volume out, Volume V, the last of the 1940 volumes. So, personally, I doubt whether it’s feasible to try to do it that way, unless of course after all the volumes for the year were out with their own indexes. I think it deserves further consideration.
You will find, I think, that your final recommendation with regard to an increase in staff is more relevant than it ever was before and that certainly is another reason why nothing has been done thus far on this subject.
Sir, I believe that covers the matters involved in your recommendations of last year. In that connection, however, I’d like to mention what Leland Goodrich has already mentioned, namely, the paper which is used in the 1942 Volume I, and I think it would be interesting to have your individual and collective opinions on this paper.
THE CHAIRMAN: This is thinner paper.
MR. NOBLE: This is a volume of 950 some pages and here’s a volume of about 1050 pages (indicating). In other words, it had more pages, this one had a hundred more pages but notice the difference in size of the two. The question is whether the least attractive paper justifies the saving in space.
MR. GOODRICH: I think Dick mentioned this, so he should be commenting on it. I don’t see that it’s less attractive myself.
MR. LEOPOLD: I’m all for it. The British, I think, would be outraged by it. [Laughter]
MR. GOODRICH: Will it last as long? I assume it will.
MR. NOBLE: There is no question about it.
THE CHAIRMAN: There doesn’t seem to be any objection to it.
MR. WILSON: The expense isn’t considerable.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is this a substantial saving?
MR. NOBLE: In space, but no material saving in money.
MR. LEOPOLD: Have you had any hostile reactions?
MR. NOBLE: No, we haven’t had any letters or any verbal complaints. I’m interested in your joint opinion.
May I just make one other comment, Mr. Chairman. We have in our little file here some additional materials. One is a critical review of the Foreign Relations Volume I, 1942, and we will hand out to you this afternoon for your reading another review of the history of the world since World War II. And we want to give you all the facts on our operation. Of course we have thought of it with very highly favorable reviews. This is the first highly critical review we have had and along with it are some comments by Mr. Perkins. We would like you to read these this afternoon and you may want to have some comments or questions about them.
MR. LEOPOLD: Bernard, was this the volume that Fred Harrington had something to say about last year, or was it another? He had some of the same feeling, I remember, on one of the volumes he reviewed last year.
MR. NOBLE: I don’t think so.
MR. LEOPOLD: Maybe we can find out in looking back at our files.
THE CHAIRMAN: He will be here tomorrow.
MR. NOBLE: So now the question, Mr. Chairman, is the next item on the agenda.
MR. BERDAHL: I’d like to come back—perhaps there will be an opportunity later—to the question Mr. Leopold asked about the China volumes and the committee’s attitude. I have the distinct impression that we certainly discussed that point. I don’t remember what was stated in the report, but I seem to have the impression we had a strong feeling that if the China volumes could be incorporated into the regular series there would be much less difficulty about release and so forth. Because they wouldn’t attract quite the same attention as if they were brought out separately. I’m not bringing it up for further discussion right now.
MR. NOBLE: It could be brought up tomorrow.
MR. BERDAHL: Probably this doesn’t show in the report.
MR. LEOPOLD: I think we ought to discuss it too.
MR. BERDAHL: I thought we were rather strongly of that opinion, that it would be better if they could somehow be incorporated into the regular series.
MR. WILSON: May I ask, Mr. Chairman, whether there will be further opportunity to talk about the cumulative index later?
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.
MR. BERDAHL: On that cumulative index, there wasn’t any feeling on our part, was there, that you should abandon it?
MR. NOBLE: We had to continue that. And there was the question of adding that other on to Items 3 and 4. I realize that there is overlapping in the subject matter there and there is a problem of how to handle it. I would like to suggest for your consideration that we might have first preliminary discussions of Volume I, but omitting certain items to be discussed in connection with the report on editorial problems.
For instance, on background material, I’m recommending that you leave all the background questions until this afternoon after you have read some other material which we are recommending for your reading. Aside from that, I would like to suggest that we go ahead on a basis of trying to work the two together after preliminary discussions of Volume II on China. Dick, would you go ahead with that? That is, Foreign Relations, 1942, Volume I.
3. Review of Foreign Relations, 1942, Volume I.
MR. LEOPOLD: I have nothing particularly, Dexter. My own feeling, you know, was after our reading of reporting on these individual volumes the last couple of years, that this didn’t perhaps serve too useful a purpose and—I am speaking only for myself—I would be inclined to plunge immediately into the memorandum that Bernard has so ably prepared and perhaps illustrate if any of us have picked up things from the volume for ’42, but that is just my own personal opinion.
MR. GOODRICH: I think I would feel about the same as Dick. Looking over the material in this volume did raise one question, and I don’t know whether it will come up later or not, and that is the question of how the materials relating to the preparation of some of these basic constitutions of international organizations can best be handled. Now, you have here under “General” a considerable amount of material relating to post war economic arrangements and a lot of that is background material from the Bretton Woods conference. I was wondering just how that kind of material is going to be handled, because there will be more of it in the years ahead. That may be a question we take up later. If we do, I think that is the time to discuss it. If it isn’t going to be taken up later, conceivably we might now discuss it here. Because there are some very long documents here bearing upon the general background of the Bank and the Fund. And if there were to be separate volumes dealing with the preparation of the articles of agreement, the constitution of various organizations, material of this kind, I should think that could go into those volumes. If not, I suppose this is the way to handle it.
MR. NOBLE: Ralph, would you like to say something about that?
MR. R. PERKINS: The only thing I would say is that I must admit we have not considered the question of leaving out the annual volumes at this stage of the material on the basis of publication of the background of the various organizations afterwards. We haven’t come to those organizations, so we haven’t really taken up the question of the compilation of those records.
MR. GOODRICH: When you get into part (e) 4 and part (e) 5, you are going to have terrific messes.
MR. NUEREMBERGER: We have the ’44 compilation completed and I think a couple hundred pages on the Bretton Woods and the ancillary compilations that go along with it. We have Dumbarton Oaks, which is really a preliminary course which almost Yalta was. And it’s probably the biggest compilation we have ever had.
On San Francisco, it looks as though we probably should have a special volume or even volumes. Looking at it very tentatively, we have given some consideration to having Dumbarton Oaks and the whole San Francisco material put in a separate volume. But we have the Dumbarton Oaks material already completed. Mrs. Cassidy has done a monumental job to the pre-conference to San Francisco. That was tremendous. When you get to the conference you have to really walk a tightrope because you don’t want to get mixed up with what is really U.N. history, where you want to have your eye on the ball which the U. S. Delegation is carrying with regard to the questions that come up at the San Francisco conference. She has been working about a year already on the preliminaries to that. It is a tremendous job, as we will later bring out, not only getting the material we find in the files but also the locked files and various files which are not indexed. So I would say from my observation, it’s the biggest story we have ever had, and complicated, as you say.
MR. R. PERKINS: We have been carrying on on a yearly basis so far. Whether, when we get to that San Francisco conference, we put that in a separate volume, I was thinking also of various other organizations like UNESCO and all those.
MR. GOODRICH: Well, the Bretton Woods conference, there must be a mass of material there.
MR. R. PERKINS: We haven’t gone very extensively into the conference itself. Those conference records will bring up another question, really, of publication.
MR. GOODRICH: But you also have the pre-conference negotiations.
MR. R. PERKINS: We have been carrying those.
MR. GOODRICH: Whether they should be included in these volumes or assembled along with the record of the particular organization, I just raise the question.
MR. R. PERKINS: I will say one thing on that. We have been carrying it year by year. We are not yet ready to jump ahead and bring those out with the background. I’d be very dubious as to the wisdom of leaving big gaps in our yearly record on the supposition that those conferences would be covered later. We got into that trouble on the war-time conferences, where we are already getting out Foreign Relations for a period when these conferences took place and there is a gap. And it seems to be better on this kind of material to clean it up as we go along. Then what you do later, if you publish separate volumes on various organizations, of course they could cite back to this material. But I’m glad you brought that up because it’s something we have not really gone into on a broad basis, the future planning of that particular line of work.
THE CHAIRMAN: Clarence, have you anything to say on the volume?
MR. BERDAHL: I have no critical comments. I was rather pleased to notice that the volume contains a number of things that I think this committee has recommended, such as inclusion of the Kellogg order and I was really glad to see them include the Departmental organization for the purposes of publication, including the staff responsibilities. I am not sure how far this should go, necessarily But I thought it was rather well done.
I’m not prepared to make comparison with other volumes, but it seemed to me that it had a good deal of background information in the bracketed explanatory notes and things of that sort. I was very pleased to see that. So I have no unfavorable comment at all.
MR. THAYER: I have no special comment either. My general reaction was favorable.
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Wilson, have you anything to say about this volume?
MR. WILSON: Not particularly. Mr. Chairman, I read with appreciation some military agreements that the United States made with the Allied States in ’42. I had occasion to run into that in commercial treaty work. On the latter point I didn’t find the delight which I had expected to find.
MR. LEOPOLD: Bernard, there is one document in here coming at the end, the very end, which perhaps the compilers had a great deal of experience with. You would probably be interested in it. It’s a report on Thailand on Page 917, where there are four omissions. I didn’t feel knowing about it, that this—well, you can probably guess what some of the things would be that were omitted.
THE CHAIRMAN: I must say we want to discuss the memorandum as it is one we have already discussed to some degree. I think the question is raised in view of the immense number of documents that we will omit subjects and spread it thin or that maybe we think it is a process of elimination. But there is a big question there and it’s a question we ought to discuss in connection with your report. But as far as the volume itself is concerned, I have no particular comment to offer. It doesn’t apply to the broader considerations.
MR. R. PERKINS: If I may interrupt, if you’re interested in seeing the original document so you can see what we did omit, we will be glad to produce it.
MR. LEOPOLD: [Shaking his head]
MR. GOODRICH: Could I ask a question there. Was consideration given to the possibility of paraphrasing? I don’t know how much was omitted. But we did discuss earlier the possibility of paraphrasing in some instances.
MR. R. PERKINS: No.
MR. BERDAHL: I was paraphrasing the Ambassador’s remarks
MR. R. PERKINS: As you are aware, Thailand has been a very sensitive area. We were lucky to get this thing through.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we might pass to the consideration of Bernard’s memorandum, which no doubt we have all perused.
4. Discussion of Paper: “Some Editorial Problems”.
THE CHAIRMAN: Correct me if I’m wrong, but we come to an expression of opinion on page 3 with regard to the restricting of Foreign Relations, including the files of the Department itself. And that is a question of policy on which I think we probably ought to have some discussion. What do members of the committee have to say with regard to that problem? We know, of course, that we do go outside the Departmental limits. Any comment on that?
MR. LEOPOLD: Well, again for what it’s worth, when this problem was first raised at the time of the Yalta volumes, I thought that the Department, the Histori[c]al Office, was perhaps exposing itself unduly to criticism from the outside once they got outside especially on the question of private papers. If we went to the Roosevelt Library, they will say, “Why didn’t you go to this or that?” I was inclined to think that restriction as much as possible to the State Department files was in the long run the wisest course for the editors to pursue. And at that time I asked George Kennan, whom I had known, what his views were and he got Llewellyn Woodward to write up a memo in which he rather agreed with that, restrict as much as possible for then you won’t expose yourself to criticism and you will at least have the integrity. I must say since then I have changed my own mind and I think the rather elastic policy which you elaborated here is probably the wiser one. That is, you don’t set yourself any hard and fast rule. So I would say that much out of historical background.
THE CHAIRMAN: You take the position that a certain amount of flexibility was desirable?
MR. LEOPOLD: That’s right.
THE CHAIRMAN: It would be pretty difficult for us, would it not, to define the principle involved as to how far you can go outside? I think we can tell you whether or not you should go outside. Of course as to the relevance of a particular document, we can hardly judge in advance or later on on any general principle. How do you feel about this, Leland? Are you in general favorable of some search outside for relevant material?
MR. GOODRICH: I don’t think we can define the line. But I’m impressed by the fact that as we move on from the early ’40’s into the latter ’40’s and into the ’50’s it’s going to become increasingly difficult, it seems to me, to present in these volumes a record of the American Foreign Relations that is very complete, limiting itself to the Departmental files. On the other hand, to try to tell the whole story is going to be an impossible task.
THE CHAIRMAN: Of course the other side of the matter is that this must be a time element. Does this seriously retard publication, do you think, the search for relevant material outside the Department? Does that seriously retard publication? Certainly this is an element that has to be considered as to how far one goes outside the Departmental files. How do you feel about that?
MR. NOBLE: I feel it definitely. It makes a difference. You see, the Roosevelt Library, in making and organizing this request for documents here, if you carry on this precedent of using Presidential papers, we will have to send people out to the Truman Library to spend possibly several weeks. But we must recognize that they are very vital papers sometimes which frequently aren’t in the Department files.
THE CHAIRMAN: It’s difficult. I want the correct opinion of the committee. It seems to me there is a time element involved which has to be scored against the significance of the documents which you’re looking for. But I don’t see how we can go much further than improving the principle of the idea. If we do agree on it, what do you think about it?
MR. BERDAHL: I fully agree with this idea that you must go outside. But you also have to draw a line somewhere and what this means also is that we have got to have confidence in the staff and in the judgment of the staff. They have got to use more judgment than otherwise. On the other hand, it seems to me that the developments are such that this can’t be avoided. It seems to me to some extent it is a matter of accident whether the papers are State Department or Presidential papers. In other words, if the President has conversed about some things but otherwise the Secretary of State would enter into a somewhat more formal conversation, they would be State Department papers. I don’t see how you can avoid this problem. It’s difficult.
MR. R. PERKINS: May I just make a few comments on that?
THE CHAIRMAN: Certainly.
MR. R. PERKINS: In the first place, with regard to the Presidential library, Roosevelt’s Library and now the Truman Library—
THE CHAIRMAN: And assume the Eisenhower Library.
MR. R. PERKINS: When we come to that. We agreed in principle that we should definitely try to include the Presidential papers and we have been using those definitely over a considerable period of years, in fact, for the entire Roosevelt period. Starting in 1933 we have used papers from Hyde Park. Now we come to another problem which we have under consideration, access to the Truman papers. I don’t want to discuss that at length now, but the present status of the library is such that we have not been yet successful in making any effective use of the library. We hope to be able to make some more progress on that line.
Now, in regard to the general principle, aside from the Presidential papers, the big international problems that we deal with where we would need to go outside primarily concern defense.
THE CHAIRMAN: Concerns what?
MR. R. PERKINS: Defense. And there we run up against the question of the utilization of the records of the Defense Department. It’s a very practical problem. To do this on any extensive scale we would have to get a different attitude on the part of the Defense Department, which certainly at present would not allow us to send researchers over going through their records hunting for materials.
We have in the material for you to read this afternoon a set of papers that we did not put in but now which we are reconsidering and think very likely should go in. I think probably you people will feel they should go in, but we would like your opinion. When we compiled the record on North Africa for 1942 we did not include the correspondence of Robert Murphy for a period from the middle of October to the occupation of North Africa, for the reason which we explained in a footnote, that during that period Mr. Murphy was working with the military authorities. Dick was instructed, because of the secrecy of the North African invasion, not to consult with the State Department. He did not report to the State Department. He did not receive instructions from the State Department. So we omitted those records, putting in a footnote explaining his position.
Now we are under fire from two sides on our North African story. CIA has been mentioned. That is a particular issue with CIA which wants very extensive omissions. On the other hand, Mr. Murphy came to the Historical Office and has been allowed to go over records and he was allowed to see what we have compiled. He felt that our record was incomplete because we left out the most important part of his work, which is true.
So there is one set of documents we have not produced for you which definitely I think should go in. Mr. Murphy at the time did not report his correspondence with General Giraud. In 1943 the Department asked Murphy for that correspondence, and he sent it in under a despatch. We have decided to include that despatch with the enclosures, that is, put that all in as one document—the agreement which constituted the agreements with General Giraud, if we can get that cleared for publication; we have not yet submitted that for clearance, it will have to be submitted to Defense, of course, too.
Now we found the telegrams exchanged between the War Department and Mr. Murphy went through the Department. But all the record we had were card records of a telegram coming in and being transmitted to the War Department, no copy whatsoever of these telegrams. I believe the War Department called. They were not decoded in the State Department. So they were sent over to the War Department and no deciphered telegrams were returned to the Department.
Now, in regard to time, I may say it has taken weeks to obtain these telegrams from the Defense Department.
MR. NOBLE: Months.
MR. R. PERKINS: I beg your pardon, months. But they are given to us for our use in the Department. If they are to be published, we will have to go back to Defense for clearance. We have those telegrams which I have selected as what I think we might put in. We have made a number of copies of those so you can all read them. If you are interested, we can produce the complete set of those Murphy-War Department telegrams. I think you will be interested in reading that material.
Of course the reason I have said so much on this is that it is right on the point you raised of the question of going beyond State Department records. Of course this is a unique case, where a high ranking officer, Foreign Service Officer, was involved but where it’s outside, I might say, our instructions. So I don’t think any blame should come to the compiler of these volumes, who is now a Foreign Service Officer, Mr. Prescott, who was carrying out our directive of putting in those materials which came under the responsibility of the Department of State. You see, during this period the State Department was not responsible for Mr. Murphy. Well, that is an exceptional case, rather perhaps a unique case.
THE CHAIRMAN: You still have clearance yet to get?
MR. R. PERKINS: Still have clearance yet to get.
THE CHAIRMAN: That may be a long process.
MR. R. PERKINS: It very likely will.
MR. KRETZMANN: Who has control over in Defense?
MR. R. PERKINS: I believe the Joint Chiefs.
MR. BERDAHL: On the general principle of documents, especially Defense documents, I assume perhaps that it works something like this: You can’t, as you say, send researchers over just to see what they have, but you get leads. You know about certain materials that ought definitely to be included and I think that is the kind of thing you should press for. There is one particular document we have asked for months ago. We haven’t gotten it yet. They raise a question why does the Department need this document? That was not a telegram that would lead in to the Department itself. There was a reference to it in the Army history and it’s on the same subject that the State Department was making recommendations. I might say it was on unconditional surrender. The State Department sent a recommendation to the President on a certain day. The Joint Chiefs sent a recommendation on the same subject on the same day, we found from Army history. So we have asked for a copy of it. We haven’t got it yet.
THE CHAIRMAN: Can you get support from a high level in the State Department to a high level in the Defense Department in regard to documents of this kind?
MR. R. PERKINS: On this we have not. Mr. Noble can tell you on our annual volumes we have not gone to that stage yet.
MR. KRETZMANN: He means we haven’t asked for support yet.
MR. R. PERKINS: I don’t want to give that impression.
THE CHAIRMAN: But you can get support.
MR. NOBLE: Certainly.
THE CHAIRMAN: Mr. Thayer, what do you want to say about this general problem of going outside the Department?
MR. THAYER: I would suppose we are all agreed that under present conditions it’s vitally necessary to go outside Department sources in order to be able to present a complete picture. It would follow, it would seem to me, that it’s important to have a policy of flexibility. It would be equally important, I would suppose—but this is something more of an internal nature than external—to be able to lay down certain guideposts in that connection, such as, for example, the existence of obvious gaps in the State Department materials which need to be filled; secondly, the importance of the materials which can be found outside. But, subject to certain guideposts of that kind, I certainly would agree that there must be flexibility.
MR. WILSON: Mr. Chairman, I think that the Department has to go outside for material. I don’t mean to say that they should take everything from outside. I suppose if they made a photographic reproduction of all the things that were potentially significant you would have a large volume every year. But I think that you have to do a lot of guessing here, do you not, as to whether an event of a couple decades ago may, in the light of subsequent events to come, be of significance. I don’t know how you’re going to construct these. I believe you have to have some criteria, but I don’t see how you can have hard and fast ones.
MR. R. PERKINS: May I ask one question of you members of the committee. In talking about going outside, do you wish to go beyond our present Department directive, that we take up those questions which are within the responsibility of the Department of State? They may be international questions but do you want to go beyond the responsibility of the Department?
MR. NOBLE: Be careful how you answer that question.
MR. WILSON: I’m not anxious.
MR. NOBLE: Ralph, if you ask that specifically, directly and literally, you would say you wouldn’t include the documents which we are proposing to include because, as you explained, Murphy’s actions were specifically outside the responsibilities of the Department but they are vastly of concern to the Department.
MR. R. PERKINS: I think the North African situation is a unique case and especially because while it was outside the responsibility of the Department, it was the work of a high ranking Department Foreign Service Officer. That is a unique case and I think I could justify our omission. I wouldn’t think we were reprehensible in leaving this material out but, since the question was raised by Mr. Murphy himself and since there was that justification to complete the record of an eminent Foreign Service Officer, I thought an exception might be made in that case.
MR. GOODRICH: You could say you cover all matters nominally within the responsibility of the Department.
MR. KPETZMANN: He is about to publish these in his own memoirs anyway.
MR. THAYER: It seems to me we are in danger of getting involved in a question of semantics here, whether a question of responsibility becomes a question of concern, as was true in this instance.
MR. NOBLE: When does a question of concern becomes a question of responsibility?
MR. GOODRICH: I would think, for example, that we should distinguish between Presidential papers, let’s say, and the records of some of the other departments. I think what Mr. Perkins just said certainly should have our support, that every effort should be made to get documents and material that are considered relevant that are in the Roosevelt Library or the Truman Library or the Eisenhower Library because of the special relations of the Department to the President as a principal adviser in the field of foreign policy.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think one would have to be careful to lay down as rigid a rule as you suggested a moment ago.
MR. LEOPOLD: Following Leland’s thought here, what got me off on this originally some years ago was not distinguishing between State Department papers and Defense Department papers but when you start going into the personal collections, such as the Roosevelt, the Truman, and so forth. Now, we know the Hull papers and the Dulles papers are going to be part of a special collection at Princeton. We are multiplying our problems there. Certainly the Secretary of State is important. I would like to see some line at least to give you people a feeling that there are limits beyond which you didn’t have to go into this.
MR. FRANKLIN: We have had some experience in war time conference business with defining the scope of coverage from Defense and other departments. We tackled this problem seven years ago, in 1953, to turn out the volume on Yalta in which you will find papers from the Department of Defense, from Treasury and other areas outside the Department of State, because in this case the responsibility was so clearly that of the President of the United States to conduct the foreign policy of the United States that there could be no serious thought given to delimiting the field of interest, concern or responsibility of the Department of State which was out on the fringes of that thing anyway and even more so in the case of Cairo-Tehran where the Department as such is not even represented.
So it was quite clear, as of seven years ago, that if we were going to tell the story of these conferences we need to tell the stories of the foreign relations of the United States, the policies of the United States as they were developed for the President and brought by the President to bear at the table of international negotiations at the conferences and since the President was also the Commander-in-Chief and many of these problems were politico-military at the most important levels, there could be no distinctions made artificially by us between what we considered political and what were military.
Thus, for instance, the question of the delineation of theatres of operation, war theatres of operation in South East Asia, discussed with Chiang Kai-shek could not be defined as either a political or military problem. It was to us a perfect example of the complete fusion in war of the top level political-military thinking. So these considerations dropped entirely by the Board, we had to go outside.
The question then was of scope. We worked out no arrangement of scope with the Department of the Treasury or any other departments from which we begged and borrowed particular papers for which we had leads. We had no problem with them. On individual papers they were entirely willing. They hauled out batches of papers; for instance, Morgenthau’s memo to the President.
THE CHAIRMAN: This was true in Defense, you say?
MR. FRANKLIN: This was in other departments. They were very easy about it. We said we would like to see certain memoranda or related papers and their file people would take them out. And we indicated several we wanted to have photo copies of and they did it and sent them to us.
Defense, of course, was a far larger problem, one so different in quantity as to become different in quality. Here the definition of scope was important at the very outset, but there was no question of our getting access to the whole files of the Department. In the first place, we did not approach them that way. We didn’t want that. They had historical sections of their own, larger in some cases than ours. What we asked for originally was would they please cooperate with us and within the limits, as we defined them, of the conference as a whole bring their historical research to bear to give us the contribution of the military from their files. Their answer was, “Thank you, no, we don’t intend to do that. We have our own programs.”
They said, however, that they would cooperate with us if we would tell them what we wanted. We told them a long list of documents we wanted, to which we have picked up leads from the Army history, the memoirs, State Department documents we had, etc., etc., etc. The question immediately came up then, well, you have asked for a lot of stuff here which is way down the line. No, no, this is up. So we had literally to define the scope. We defined it with satisfaction and it was defined right at the top and in considering going beyond State Department files, I think it’s correct to say we had never considered really going below this careful definition that was worked out six or seven years ago.
There is no question of publishing the files of the whole Department of Defense. Let’s not talk about that. They won’t make any open doors for us to come anywheres near that. But we got in Yalta, defined as those papers from military sources which contained the advice and recommendations of the civilian Secretaries of War and Navy and of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and of their top assistants to the President or the Secretary of State or their top assistants on problems that came before those conferences—Cairo, Tehran, Potsdam, Yalta, etc. That is the way it has been defined very precisely.
We have had some odd experiences of papers which are well below that level which, however, come up and get precipitated on the table and become a document of more importance than their original authorship would have warranted. Sometimes papers of the Joint Planning Staff never actually formally approved by the Joint Chiefs of Staff were called upon at the last moment and brought into the table and became the subject of negotiations at the top level. Although this was not a formally approved, recommended paper by the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the President, they had relented to the point of letting us have that kind of paper.
Occasionally an intelligence report, similarly, would not get the approval of the Joint Chiefs but would be presented to the President for his consideration and we have been able to get those. We have, however, had to haggle, haggle for months on these peripheral items. The items which fall clearly within the scope of the Defense contribution we get without too much trouble. I mean the usual weeks and weeks, but they come. The others, however, are months and months, very tightly contested.
In answer to your question about support in the Department, yes. In connection with the war-time conferences we have had at least a half dozen very high level letters in the Department of State to the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
THE CHAIRMAN: The documents you get easily are the ones which—
MR. FRANKLIN: That fall directly within the scope, as I define it, namely, the papers which mention the recommendations and suggestions from the civilian Secretaries of War and Navy, that is what we were talking about, or the Joint Chiefs of Staff to the President or the Secretary of State.
THE CHAIRMAN: I see. If you go outside that area you have difficult, is that right?
MR. FRANKLIN: That’s correct.
THE CHAIRMAN: This is very important information.
MR. FRANKLIN: When we can point out that although the paper we have in mind that we have asked for is a lower level paper and does not fall within this limited scope that it, nevertheless, achieved a unique importance at the conference because Marshall gave it to Leahy to give to the President and the President talked about it to Stalin, we get the paper but we have to go back and explain.
MR. R. PERKINS: May I make one comment on that, just to get it clear. This agreement Mr. Franklin speaks of was in connection with publication of the war-time conferences which the Department was committed to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to publish. And Defense was acting on the fact with the realization that this was a special case on these conferences which if published at all would have to include Defense records.
The document I referred to before on unconditional surrender was a recommendation from the Joint Chiefs to the President. And they say, “Why do you want it?”
What I would like to have from this committee is this: Two or three years ago you definitely made a recommendation limiting the scope that we should seek outside records and our Department order defines our publication as within the responsibility of the State Department with supplementary papers which we agree would occasionally fill gaps. We have been acting on our directive and on your recommendation. If you feel now we should go beyond that, it would have to be rather carefully defined how far you would like to have us go.
THE CHAIRMAN: This is obviously a question for us to consider in deliberations apart. But the light thrown on it is naturally very useful to us.
MR. LEOPOLD: I wanted to ask Bill whether once you get by the war-time conferences, we could use this general statement as a purpose. Do you think that would persist in the 1946 volumes, or do you think the problem has changed such that you would have to reformulate it?
MR. FRANKLIN: I think the seriousness of the problem as we have it now, as we have expressed it here at the table, is peculiar to the war-time situation, peculiar to the fact that we had at that time no central coordinating agency at the White House level. The President thought he could do it all, and he talked first with Henry L. Stimson, and then he talked with Hull and that was it, no formalized material at all for talking at the top level. So when you want to coordinate for the conferences of the war-time period you have got to go back to the files of Morgenthau, Stimson and Hull to pull these things together. These are the people they had, that Roosevelt had. So there was no machinery.
So, beginning in ’46-47, you get some machinery. Then the question will arise in a slightly different form. We will get machinery then through SWNNC and SANAC and on into the National Security Council of 1947. Then the question is whether we are publishing Foreign Relations of the United States or only papers of the State Department. So as Ralph can take a limited view and make it stick, and it’s reasonable after ’47, the problem becomes at once more difficult and more necessary either if we get the papers of the Security Council which will reflect the United States policy or we don’t. And if we don’t, the problem then is far worse than it was during the war-time period when there was no such coordinating agency. But we have perhaps more justification for going along and taking what was the Department of State responsibility.
MR. KRETZMANN: I have two comments which may be helpful here looking toward the future. First, the case Mr. Perkins raised, I’m afraid that is not going to be an isolated incident because there is a strong trend in the Department and also in other parts of the Government to exchange officers on what the British call a secund basis and this has already started. We will be secunding some Foreign Service Officers to other departments for a year, two years, or three years. This is what happened to Murphy But this is going to happen regularly as a matter of policy.
Now, you’re going to have to, I think, in the future face that. They are being detailed particularly in the foreign policy field because there is so much involvement.
That leads to the other, I think, more optimistic point, that in view of the heavy involvement of other agencies of the Government in foreign relations, there is a conscious effort here now to see to it that there is a better coordination of papers. When you talk about the NAC papers, it’s true we haven’t had direct access to them, but they are all in the Department. You don’t have to go out to look for these. There is much greater attempt to draw these other agencies into the Department at one stage or another. I think in a way we are dealing here with a problem which I hope won’t recur.
MR. BERDAHL: How do these come to the Department?
MR. KRETZMANN: By reason of participation in these conferences.
MR. BERDAHL: The Department officers deposit it?
MR. KRETZMANN: Yes. And it’s true now of a great deal of Defense stuff. They are inter-agency boards. There is an exchange of documents and files in each of the departments so that I don’t think the research problem will be so great. But you still have the decision to make as to how much you’re going to do.
MR. GOODRICH: There is a problem of clearance, I take it; if you use a National Security Council document you have to have a clearance.
MR. KRETZMANN: You have only one focal point where you have to get this. Once you’re clear on the problem, I mean, the conduct of Foreign Relations is the President’s business in war and peace, when he wears his other hat. And there is where you’re going to have to go for a decision when you want accession to these things, if we’re going to make a record of the Foreign Relations of the United States.
MR. GOODRICH: But to whom do you go specifically. You wouldn’t go to the President.
MR. KRETZMANN: To refer an Executive Order, if this is the decision. I’m not arguing one way or the other because I know this is a—
MR. WILSON: In addition to these, do these Foreign Service Officers transferred to other Departments function as qua-Foreign Service Officers or qua-Department of State officials, or are they for the time being ex-officers?
MR. KRETZMANN: They will be Foreign Service Officers remaining in their career status but they will be administratively and functionally and command-wise, if you want to use that word, completely under the control of that other department for that period.
MR. BERDAHL: They don’t report to the State Department during that period?
MR. KRETZMANN: No.
MR. FRANKLIN: This is true of political advisers during the war, Davies, Murphy and others.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we have a picture there. I rather suggest we take a ten-minutes break, unless there is any other contribution to the problem from any of the officers of the Department.
MR. BERDAHL: Mr. Noble has reproduced a sentence or two from a previous report of this committee on a point which probably isn’t very helpful since essentiality is the criterion.
THE CHAIRMAN: Let’s stop for ten minutes and then go on to the next point of the memorandum.
[After a brief recess the meeting was reconvened at 11:10 a.m.]
THE CHAIRMAN: [Referring to Mr. Noble’s Memorandum dated October 21, 1960 Foreign Relations of the United States - Some Editorial Problems] I think the second point in the memorandum that seems to be of importance is the question of the lot files and the post files which he [Mr. Noble] considers on pages 4, 5 and 6. Coming to a conclusion he says: “In a time when publication is falling off and the lag behind currency is lengthening, there is danger that a proper balance will not be maintained and that the lot and post files - which are more tedious and relatively less productive sources of papers - may receive less favored treatment.”
I think perhaps what we want, first, is the reaction of members of the staff here on this problem for our own guidance before we try to make up our own minds on it. I would be glad to hear from you, Bernard, or any member of the staff on this problem.
MR. NOBLE: I think certain members of the staff that have worked particularly on them ought to speak. Some of those are not around the table, but they worked more on them than some of us at the table, and certainly would like to speak.
MR. GOODRICH: Can I raise a preliminary question. Can we be particularly helpful on the problems presented by these lot and post files? It seems to me that the problems you have to face are the very practical problems.
MR. NOBLE: This, as a matter of fact, is a question on which we are giving you information, explaining a problem, more than it is a question of policy on which we want your advice.
There are differences of opinion, I think, in our own staff as to how far we should go, and how systematically we should undertake to use them. I think, without much difference, that occasionally they are indispensable. In some cases the lot files are more important—in some areas, that is, more than in others. But the question of the use of them is a somewhat controversial one, and I think we could profitably have some expressions of opinion—not only from Ralph and Dexter, but from some of those who actually use them more fully and more recently. These are comparatively new problems, you see—the lot files and the post files.
MR. LEOPOLD: On item 5 where you have “Visit of Advisory Committee members to Department files” are we going to see any of those?
MR. NOBLE: Yes. We are going to have a little explanation of a process, several explanations. And, by the way, we were expecting to have a visit to Under Secretary Dillon this afternoon at 2:10, but I understand he is home ill today and will not be available, so we will be able to go to the files a little bit sooner than we had expected. Whoever is to be in touch on the files—Miss Bourne I think you ought to know about that.
MISS BOURNE: What time?
MR. NOBLE: About 2:00, I should say.
MR. R. PERKINS: Well, the lot files and the post files present different problems. In regard to the lot files you can get some idea of their use in the very first chapter here in this 1942 volume I that you have on the “Declaration of the United Nations.” We compiled that story originally from the regular central files. It was obviously incomplete. Mr. Carlton Savage worked closely with the Secretary on that, and I called him and he said he had a considerable body of documents that had never been sent to the central files, and you will note in the section here on the “Declaration of the United Nations” a memoranda by Mr. Carlton Savage[.] Now those are all taken from his office.
We sent these particular memorandums to the central files and had a file number put on, so you would not know from reading this that we had not gotten them from the central files. We didn’t do that to cover up, but so that a reader seeing this document, if he wants to go to the original, would know where to find it—so we had a copy put in the central files. That illustrates the lot files where negotiations are carried on by an office, and a record of those negotiations are not sent to the central files. And in some cases we find the central files incomplete, and we have to go to the lot files.
Now in regard to the post files, theoretically we should not need to go to those except perhaps for checking or getting material for footnotes or something. Because if any subject is important, it comes in the range of major decisions of the Department of State, and the embassy would not be acting on its own authority; the policy would be outlined in the instructions from the Department, which should be in the Department files. If it is important enough to be a foreign relations subject, the action should be reported by the embassy to the Department, and so will be in the files. So we do not find the post files as valuable except in some cases where there are missing records and we can trace them in the post files. And then sometimes as a Department instruction when it is not clear what action was taken from the reports that come in, we can check in the post files to find that. Now that is just roughly the use we make of these files.
THE CHAIRMAN: Thank you.
MR. FRANKLIN: I would like to add one word before Mr. Slany speaks. In the conference files we made no distinction between use of the index files or the lot files. We couldn’t, because, for instance in the index files of the Department of State there were about four papers under Yalta—Miss Bourne will bear me out—and these did not include the Bohlen minutes. So if you look at the Yalta file you will see Bohlen’s papers, Mathew papers, Hiss papers, and several others which are all outlined.
Incidentally, instead of having these indexed we did run the explicit head notes of the files that they came from because we were accused under the gun of some people of covering up if belatedly we had these things taken out of their little cubbyhole caches and indexed as though they had always been in the central files of the Department. This was a peculiar case.
Otherwise, you can—if it is just a few papers you would ordinarily have them indexed when you run across them. But during the war this problem grew to such tremendous proportions that it isn’t generally feasible to have them just indexed.
On post files, there is one notable exception to what Ralph has said, although that is generally true—used only for checking. But in the case of conferences where conferences took place overseas, where people from the mission were involved, as in the case of Tehran, where the Declaration of Tehran was worked out at Tehran and never went to the Department of State because the President was there, the post files and the personal files of people at the post were invaluable on this. Jernegan[?] was the man who wrote it. He went right from Moscow to Tehran—never went to the Department at all. So you can never tell. We have found in connection with conferences that no artificial distinctions were reasonable at all as between index files and lot files, or personal papers, so-called, or post drafts. Wherever the story led us, we went. Now this is the extreme position. But I thought you would like to know how it worked out.
MR. NOBLE: The reason this is such a problem is that the post files particularly are so enormous and the lot files too—some ll00 cases of them, 20,000 feet—and if they are systematically searched it does extend a great deal the time required for a compilation of these volumes. And we don’t have the same sort of adequate leads to them as we do in the lot files.
THE CHAIRMAN: It is a long job.
MR. NOBLE: Yes.
But some of you individual staff members get up and explain—give your view and your experience on this—Slany, and Stauffer and Fine and the others.
MR. SLANY: In the case of the post files I suspect that the staff members are tending in the war years and post war years to place a rather increasing use upon them and reliance upon them, because of the difficulties that have arisen in using the central decimal files, the increasing frequency with which important documents are missing in the files, have been borrowed from the files, have been returned to the operating desk for their use, and never again returned to the central files. We found that often the post files, which are in many cases bound and indexed according to the Foreign Service decimal system, serve as a kind of backstop, and in many cases can facilitate a more swift appraisal of the material, since you have the post record of the kind of telegrams and dispatches that they received, the kind of notes that they exchanged with the governments to which they were accredited. In some cases the post files are on some specific issues, they have a complete record, whereas the decimal files for one reason or another have gaps, missing documents for one reason or another. So there is that particular use of the post files.
Many of the staff members when considering the compilation of a particular country accumulate these post files among their papers as a guide, as a source of the original document, the original note that happened to be handed to our representative to be correct readings, but also to find in the file a complete rundown of the papers that may have been used, which may have become scattered by the indexer when the papers arrived here in the Department.
There are incidents—Herb Fine can elaborate on that—when the post files have been the prime source of information. I am thinking on the China volumes that you might recognize the use of the Marshall papers.
MR. NOBLE: Do you want to say anything, Herb?
MR. FINE: Well, I think I subscribe to everything that Mr. Slany has said. I think the last point he mentioned was on these Marshall mission files, where the Department index files had virtually nothing to do with Marshall’s mission in China at all. Fortunately, we were able to get hold of a lot file which contained all of the original papers that the Marshall mission gathered itself, and they were used tremendously in the compilation of those volumes, or there would have been no story at all on this whole mission.
THE CHAIRMAN: On what mission did you say?
MR. FINE: The George Marshall mission to China, ’45 and ’46. I think it is a fair statement to make— that there would have been no compilation of our story worth anything if these files had not come to our attention.
MR. NOBLE: Miss Bourne is here, Mr. Chairman. She is in charge over there in Records Management, and I think we ought to hear from her.
MISS BOURNE: I was very much interested to hear what they had to say about these post files, because I have been convinced that not enough use has been made about the files since they have been here. When we discussed the Robert Murphy files, we brought in from Vichy and Algiers Robert Murphy’s files since 1951.
It seems to me in many of these cases we may pick up some of these files. In this case it might be in the War Department post files, where they might not be here in the files of the Department of State itself. I think we certainly are bringing in a great deal of material on our international reorganization material. These combined boards—the Department of State, the U. S. Government, State Governments, have only copies of some of these things, and you know well our storage problems on some of these things. I think the lot files are extremely valuable.
You, of course, know what we have been doing this past year to get some of this material where it belongs in the central files. I think a lot of this goes back to the way the Department’s records are kept. That is, we have a different system here in the Department’s central files than we are using in our Foreign Service posts. As Mr. Slany has indicated, you have a much more concentrated collection of information on any country or area in your post files than you will ever be able to pull together even with the indexes to the central files, and for that reason we have continued to bring in material, although I might say we have been criticized because we are bringing in material which should be duplicated in the Department.
I don’t know whether they would be interested to know, but as you know we are working— I have a recommendation going up the line for a uniform file system for the Department and the Foreign Service. I think that this is really the only answer to most of the problems that you people have today. When we have such a system, even these offices will be keeping their records (if we can get the plan approved) by the same system as the central files in the Department, and also in the Foreign Service. Then, certainly, there should be more duplication. You wouldn’t have to bring as many records back. But they would be organized in a way that you people need to use them. That would apply to all. Our report is just at the printers now, and we hope we are going to get the inspectors to recommend it and move ahead with this project. Whether there is money to do it or not is something else again.
MR. FRANKLIN: How would you implement it in the offices?
MISS BOURNE: The system has to be mandatory at the highest level of the Department obviously.
MR. FRANKLIN: Who is going to see to it that it is mandatory? This whole lot system has grown up by accidents and lack of manpower and initiative.
MISS BOURNE: It grew up largely during the war years because you had such a tremendous decentralization of the Department as it grew and people were scattered in different buildings, and they began keeping their own records—that plus the fact that you even have this decentralization in the post. And partly because the systems may not be adequate, and you have a lot of untrained secretaries, and the offices have been keeping their own collections because they can’t get the kind of service they want from the central files or the secretaries. So, again I think it goes back to a decent file system and trained personnel, and once we have that why you people should be able to move ahead a lot faster.
MR. FRANKLIN: That’s all on the record, is it?
MR. NOBLE: You are trying to get these lot files indexed, and put in the central index files.
MISS BOURNE: That is correct. We have large quantities of files here that we know contain probably 75% to 80% duplication of documents that are in the central files of the Department already. And this past year we did work with Mr. Noble to set up a working group to try and clear certain types of these lots for what we call screening so that we could go through and remove documents that should have been sent to the central files, and notes have been written to get them back where they really belong, and get them indexed so they would be available and eliminating much of the useless material that is in these lots, so that would actually reduce the amount of time the FO people really need to do their research.
MR. LEOPOLD: Are these lot files physically scattered around in many places?
MISS BOURNE: No. They are in the record service center. We have had a building two miles distance and we are in the process of liquidating that and moving what we can down here into this building. Unfortunately, our basement space in this building is not available. That, in itself, should expedite some of the research—when we get everything we need into one building for the first time in years.
MR. NOBLE: If we had an extra half hour we would go up there and show you that vast collection of these boxes.
MISS BOURNE: I think it would discourage them completely. To show you some of the problems: we haven’t even had elevator service in that building since early in August—it broke down, so we have had to carry the files down from the third floor. Most of these lot files are on the third floor. And since the building is to be torn down, nobody I am sure intends to fix the elevator. It is a terrific problem.
MR. NOBLE: I have heard some of the researchers say that some of these lot files are peculiarly valuable because they are organized on a particular subject.
MISS BOURNE: That’s right. It is true. Many briefing books— We found an excellent sample a few Saturdays ago, where a complete story of one of these South American conferences had been put together in a book, and it would be a shame to tear that thing apart. It did have some original papers which normally would be in the central files, but a lot of the other stuff would be completely torn apart under the central file procedure. But we left it, and identified on our central control document so we would know where it could be found.
THE CHAIRMAN: Does anybody else want to comment on this problem?
MR. NOBLE: That shows you we have a problem.
THE CHAIRMAN: It certainly does.
MR. FRANKLIN: The question was raised, I think by Mr. Goodrich, of the post-war planning papers. This is a vast lot. Perhaps you would say the largest single lot outside of the central files.
MISS BOURNE: I am not sure which one you are referring to, but on the collection of Foreign Ministers files we have been working more than a year now. We started the project I don’t know how many years ago—trying to pull together the council of Foreign Ministers material, which is some of the most valuable material we have. Now we have more than 200 feet. We have pulled this material from posts from lot files, and everybody that we talked to thought they had a complete set. Nobody has a complete set. In fact, we still don’t have an absolutely complete set. But it certainly is growing, and I think certainly will be one of the most valuable collections we have. Of course, we are only going to have one copy, and it is such a valuable thing we won’t be able to let people borrow things out of it. They will have to use it there to preserve the integrity of the file, but it is certainly useful.
MR. FRANKLIN: The problem that you raised before was planning papers, post-war planning papers—Dumbarton Oaks, Bretton Woods, PICAO and ICAO and all the rest. This is a separate lot file all its own. Those papers have never been put into the index files of the Department. They are separate, and there are some advantages in that. But these two questions tie together here on the utilization of lot material, and whether planning papers, which never entered into action, should be reflected in Foreign Relations; and, if so, to what extent. There was a whole outfit where you always worked with the geographer during boundaries, and boundaries and alternates, “A” through “Z” none of which ever saw any action.
THE CHAIRMAN: Any other comment by any of the staff here, or any member of the committee on this subject. [Silence] If there is not, I think we might turn to the next point that is raised by Mr. Noble’s memorandum.
MR. NOBLE: We appreciate very much the work that Miss Bourne and her staff are doing on that.
MISS BOURNE: We are just sorry we can’t do it a little faster for you.
THE CHAIRMAN: If you look at the memorandum you will find at the bottom of page 6 the heading “C. Background Papers” and it goes over to pages 7 and 8.
MR. NOBLE: I suggest, Mr. Chairman, we might leave that instead until tomorrow morning, because we want you to read this afternoon certain excerpts or portions here which will put you in a better position to discuss the question intelligently.
THE CHAIRMAN: All right. Then we would come to “II. Foreign Policy Papers in Other Agencies.” We have had a little discussion of that. What would your suggestion be with regards to that, Bernard? Do you want commentary?
MR. NOBLE: I would just suggest that Mrs. Cassidy, who has spent a good deal of time up there and works on them, might make a brief statement on the way it works and the problem.
THE CHAIRMAN: Mrs. Cassidy.
MRS. CASSIDY: Excuse me.
MR. NOBLE: On the “Presidential Papers.”
MRS. CASSIDY: I found a great many papers up there which are in our own files. But from our own files I found leads to certain papers which were not to be found here, but papers which the President made his notations on there and gave to officials of other Governmental Agencies. I found compilations of papers on certain subjects there that were a great convenience too. And the difficulty of course is that there is no central index to the papers, and it is necessary to go through many, many boxes in order to find what you want.
MR. NOBLE: But you found many papers to which there were no leads in the Department?
MRS. CASSIDY: Yes, some papers about which I knew nothing. And I made notes of some papers which of course meant it was most valuable to go up there after exhausting research here of our own files; otherwise, it would be almost hopeless to go through a great mass of material and to keep a coordinated picture in your mind of what you were searching for, and what is essential to fill in the papers which you already found here to complete the story.
MR. BERDAHL: “Up there”—you mean Hyde Park?
MRS. CASSIDY: Yes, at Hyde Park. We haven’t had any experience on the Truman Library as yet.
MR. LEOPOLD: On page 10, I really am shocked by the paragraph about whether the Government Agencies have access prior to individuals. I certainly hope the Bureau of Public Affairs will fight, fight, fight.
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t quite get there what you are saying, Bernard. W[h]at is the problem there?
MR. NOBLE: That is the Truman Library, where the position taken—as we interpret a letter from the Director of the Library, Phil Brooks—is that we are on the same basis as private citizens, and that if these papers are restricted they are restricted to us as well as they are to private citizens.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, I am on the Board of the Truman Library.
MR. KRETZMANN: Wonderful!
THE CHAIRMAN: That, I will look into.
MR. FINE: Mr. Brooks is under the same boss that the Hyde Park Library is, and why does Hyde Park tackle us differently?
MR. NOBLE: We are investigating that matter right now, and we are having conversations with the Archives on the subject, and I don’t know whether the Archives feel they can interpret. It is a matter partly, I suppose, of interpreting President Truman’s—what’s the word for that?—the instrument by which he turned this over to the Government. Of course, he could have turned all of them or none of them over to the Government. If he says this particular group of papers is restricted, why what does that mean? Does it mean, as far as he is concerned, that it is restricted to Government personnel as well as to others? He has a perfect right to say that no one should see them, including the Government—that’s the fact.
So it comes down, I suppose, to a question really of interpreting what Truman meant in that transfer of his papers to the Government. He has kept out a fairly large group of papers, which Dick Dougall and I had a look at back in 1956 in connection with the Potsdam papers. But he is still keeping those out, as I understand it, from the Library. And apparently, aside from that, there are some papers which are in the Library, but which are still restricted.
MR. LEOPOLD: Does Phil’s interpretation come from talking with Mr. Truman at least?
MR. FRANKLIN: Mr. Truman still keeps his own interpretation; Mr. Roosevelt doesn’t.
MR. NOBLE: According to Herbert Feis he was to see them. And Truman was told by Phil Brooks that he couldn’t see them, and Truman had to apologize to Feis and say he couldn’t see them.
MR. R. PERKINS: I might say that in our regular annual volumes we have asked for—I would not guarantee these files—let us say roughly about 30 documents from the Truman Library, and we have received one document I believe it was—or was it two?—I think it is one.
MR. SLANY: One.
MR. R. PERKINS: And the reply was simply that the others were not available. Presumably, they could not be located. Some of these were documents we got leads to in Truman’s memoires. They were top-level correspondence with Stalin; I think some with Churchill, which definitely one should have every reason to think would be in the Truman Library.
MR. DOUGALL: They are still probably in Mr. Truman’s hands. Certainly, if we hadn’t had access to his papers before this Library setup was done we wouldn’t have Potsdam in page proof now.
THE CHAIRMAN: You have had no trouble with Kahn on the Roosevelt papers?
MR. R. PERKINS: No, we haven’t had any trouble with him.
MR. LEOPOLD: Are you on that one, too?
THE CHAIRMAN: No.
MR. NOBLE: We discussed that with him and he says that, frankly, we see everything except the very personal things.
THE CHAIRMAN: Of course, to say you can’t find things, it is pretty hard to answer that remark, again.
MR. WILSON: Sounds like Near Eastern archives.
MR. NOBLE: Mr. Parks is going up to a meeting of the Southern Historical at Tulsa, I believe, and he is going to stop by there to make a more thorough examination of the “key” position as it were, if that’s the right word.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, that is what you had in mind, that Dick mentions. Isn’t it, really?
MR. NOBLE: That’s correct.
THE CHAIRMAN: I would be glad to have any other expressions of opinion. It seems to me that it is very fortunate in the compilation. But perhaps the more people that talk about it the better it would be.
MR. NOBLE: We commend it to your attention as a member of the commission.
MR. LEOPOLD: Does it meet annually?
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. The date has not been fixed for 1961, as yet. And I don’t know whether it will be the right time for me or not, if I go to Salzburg, but it probably will.
Well, now, let’s go on, if there is nothing more to be said on that. I think it is good. You have something on the “Defense papers”? We have really discussed that a little bit. Do you want some more comment on that?
MR. NOBLE: I think we have pretty well exhausted it. I take it you want us to use them as far as we “reasonably can”, whatever that means—within the realm of, I would say, our concern and our responsibility, rather than just responsibility as Ralph says.
THE CHAIRMAN: Of course, the next point that is raised there—we are looking at pages 12 and 13—we have the very important question I think of the National Security Council. Now what is your experience on the National Security Council, or have you reached the point where it—
MR. NOBLE: We haven’t exhausted our inquiries there. Several years ago we had occasion to get to talk it over with the Secretary with reference to a few papers, and they were very, very cagey about this. And quite recently a member of the staff was over, and we mentioned this to him and he looked rather shocked and thought if this matter was suggested over there it would cause quite some raising of eyebrows and so forth, but he thought it might be well to mention it now because after a year or so they might have become accustomed to the idea. It is our hope that at least their final decisions of the NSC may be made available. I can’t for a moment believe that we would have access to the recommendations, say, of the Defense to the NSC, or the recommendations perhaps of the Department—I don’t know—particularly of Defense. But if we could get at— What I think we ought to aim at at least is the final decision, or the final recommendation, whatever you call it.
THE CHAIRMAN: That won’t become relevant for a little while. I mean this is something to work at.
MR. NOBLE: That’s right. I think it ought to be worked at.
MR. WILSON: Is it known what the NSC actually records? Does it record actually much more than what is said?
MR. NOBLE: They have, of course, these papers that come in from the various agencies, particularly State, Defense, and Treasury. They have those, and then they have debates and— What is the other subsidiary group that works with them?
MR. KRETZMANN: OCB.
MR. NOBLE: OCB.
MR. WILSON: I wonder how much of that is made a record.
MR. NOBLE: Certainly, it is recorded. No doubt about that, the discussion.
MR. KRETZMANN: I think I know what you are driving at. A good deal of these inter-agency differences of opinion are worked out in the staff before the paper is laid before the National Security Council. There may be a minority view which is still held, but the original papers that go on, which discuss the different points of view, are not so published to begin with. But the staff itself works it out—Gordon Gray works out most of the problems before it comes up. It is only those that they can’t work out which have to come up there, at least I have never seen the other papers—these papers that have been submitted to the National Security Council.
MR. NOBLE: Of course, another thing that is going to become terrifically important is that all the papers on our United Nations involvement— What papers should we expect ultimately to be included in, say, our instructions to the people in New York? That is something we have got to work out with them, and it is, of course, terribly important. That is something we haven’t done yet.
THE CHAIRMAN: The Office of Strategic Services has large files.
MR. KRETZMANN: This is another point.
MR. NOBLE: We are coming to that.
MR. KRETZMANN: Do you want to come to it now?
MR. NOBLE: I think you ought to read that first. Tomorrow morning will be the big show for that.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, are there any other comments on these particular pages of Bernard’s report? We have taken over what he says with regard to the National Security Council.
MR. KRETZMANN: I might say we are getting to the years in ’42 and so on when the intelligence operations of the U. S. Government begin to play a large part in foreign policy decisions. So we might face this as “a man that is with us from now on.”
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t see here how we can avoid giving very, very substantial modifications that have got to be made in the technique as the volume of papers increases, if we are going to do the really important things, and without allowing the secondary things to become more significant than they really are.
Well, do you want to go on to the editorial problems? On these, again, I think we want to discuss them. I would be glad to have any opinions from members of your staff with regard to them. You have put the point—the question up here with regard to several matters that we are ready to discuss, I am sure, in our private session.
MR. NOBLE: There are differences of view in our own staff, and although I think neither is an extreme view, I don’t think anybody—I know no one expects to put everything on a chronological basis—that would be too absurd. And some feel though that they are broken up into too many stories, and there should be a certain consolidation, and I don’t know that anybody is opposed to that. I don’t believe you are, are you Ralph, to a certain consolidation?
MR. R. PERKINS: Well, each is ad hoc, whether a story should be broken up or not. I am absolutely opposed to throwing everything into the hopper in chronological order. That isn’t the way Department offices work. No working desk officer would just have a chronological file of all the documents coming to him. He, naturally, when he is workin[g] on it—he would arrange it by subjects. I think in regard to this Volume I of ’42 that we reviewed— I could see, for example, we have here an “Emergency Repatriation Program” and then we have here “Exchange of Officials and Non-officials.” I haven’t reviewed that carefully to see whether that should have been consolidated or not. But you could perhaps put those two stories into one, and arrange it. But I think you would agree that almost all of these stories published in this volume should be by subjects and not thrown in together with the other material.
THE CHAIRMAN: Isn’t it the case, Bernard, to answer the question involved here, but substantially on page 15—I think that seems to me the reasonable way to go at the problem. But I think in all of these cases where we can get the views of those here, of course, it is highly desirable. I don’t want to curtail discussion in any way.
MR. LE0POLD: This is this paragraph about the chronological table.
MR. GOODRICH: I simply want to ask a question for information. For example, take “General” here at the beginning of this volume. What is the process by which you come to a decision that these are the particular topics that you wanted to list? Do you first have a body of documentary material, and then try to organize it, or do you look over the material and decide “these are the more important subjects that are covered this year, and we are going to assemble documents under these particular subjects.”
MR. R. PERKINS: Yes, we look over the material and decide what subjects should be treated, and then we compile on those subjects.
MR. GOODRICH: Presumably, then, there are subjects that are not treated. I mean your process of selection is carried to that extent.
MR. R. PERKINS: Obviously, the purpose is to treat all major subjects of diplomacy. If something is so minor in importance that we do not think it rates publication, why we don’t put it in.
MR. GOODRICH: I raise that question because it seems to me as we look ahead that this is going to be an increasingly difficult problem.
THE CHAIRMAN: We want to talk about this at length. But it seems to me that a high degree of selectivity has probably got to be aimed at over the long pull.
MR. NOBLE: I would think your reading of this volume would be a very good basis for a judgment on your part on this particular question.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, I don’t— One hesitates to express dogmatic opinions where one hasn’t thought very deeply about it. But I don’t myself feel on an off-hand judgment that 180 pages on “Agreement with enemy countries on the exchange of officials and non-officials” is valuable to that degree. Now it is a question on which I have an open mind. But it seems to me that one wonders about that a little bit.
MR. NOBLE: But have you in reading this volume felt that some of these items, particularly in the second half— I think the first part is obviously more according to subject; the second half is not necessarily so exclusively on that basis.
Now I thought possibly you might have reached some conclusions on this question as to whether the chronology could have been applied on a somewhat wider basis than it is.
MR. GOODRICH: I was raising a somewhat different question. On the point you raise, I wouldn’t want to see you depart too much from the present practice. I think it is desirable to have sub headings.
THE CHAIRMAN: My feeling is that I think in general the technique embodied is right, technically speaking. What do you say about it—on this question of chronology I mean?
MR. LEOPOLD: Of course, I have the feeling that some of these subjects are pretty much determined by what has gone before. You carry on the story from one year to another. But I have always—and I think my memory is correct on this—raised this matter about the Table of Contents at the beginning, and it was abandoned with what— the 1932 volumes, or something like that.
MR. R. PERKINS: Yes.
MR. LEOPOLD: And I realize the number of pages that it consumes, and the work that is involved, but I have always been taken for this [indicating memorandum].
THE CHAIRMAN: We are getting along here pretty well going over this memorandum today, but this may be more relevant. What are your chances for getting more funds? How are we going to look at this when we make recommendations? We have to think of it as a practical problem down at the other end of the avenue. Is the general feeling of opinion that it is favorable to further expansion, or is it negative, or where is it?
MR. NOBLE: Ed, would you like to comment on that?
MR. KRETZMANN: Well, let’s be frank about this. Since both parties have gone on record for an expanded information program, I think the chances of more funds being allocated to the general area of public affairs are pretty good. Now how much control we can exercise over that in getting it into this sort of thing is another question. This is very hard to answer at this point. I think the feeling is that we probably will get more funds in our particular area. But the question is whether they will allow us to sink it into historical volumes, or give us very specific directives. They are much more interested in other things, of course.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is this man Rooney the man you have to deal with?
MR. KRETZMANN: Yes, but I would prefer not to talk on that level. That’s inevitable.
[Discussion off the record.]
But I do think I am talking here about the higher level with greater emphasis on this whole field of information. It is true, whichever party wins the election, the question is how much we can push to allocate it the way we think it is sensibly allocated.
THE CHAIRMAN: How much to allocate for historical information as compared to other things more current at home. You can’t tell.
MR. KRETZMANN: I can’t tell that. But I think we will have more money.
MR. NOBLE: Mr. Chairman, I would like to suggest that on the basis of this rather careful survey that we are making, and your reading and experience during the past few years, you will be able to make a report emphasizing the relevant aspects of this which might be quite useful. Your reports have been useful in the Department already. I think it is quite useful for them. Don’t you agree, Ed, it might be useful? If you said, “Here are the problems which we are up against ....” And, obviously, the staff we have now is quite incapable of meeting any of these additional things that probably ought to be done. They are already saying, “We are falling behind in our staff because of the papers inside the Department, including the lot files and the post files.” There is some feeling of frustration even on that score because of the additional length of time with the means required.
MR. GOODRICH: It seems to me in that connection that the thing we should concentrate on and would be most useful to you people is to try to indicate over a period of the next, well, 15 or 20 years—from 1940 on—just what we think should be our policy with regard to the scope of coverage and that sort of thing. I think it would be more useful for us to look ahead than to be concerned with so many details.
MR. NOBLE: You take all of those facts and they can be tremendously important.
MR. LEOPOLD: Dexter, just on something that Bernard said there. I know you don’t want to come out with this, but is it possible that the type of report we make this year should differ from what we have done before? I think when we get together late Saturday morning, as it was last year or— We sort of look back and say “What did we recommend last year, and should we continue the same?” I wonder whether the whole format of our report—
THE CHAIRMAN: It seems to me that the answer to that ought to be “Yes.” I think we are going to face a very difficult problem here—the two aspects of it. It seems to me we have got to recognize the increasing volume of work which means more money. But we won’t get more money if we won’t put more attention on the essentiality and relevance. Those two things go together. Of course, that is for us to discuss. Perhaps this isn’t the time to talk about it.
MR. NOBLE: One thing that makes it more difficult is the approach on the Hill. The reason for that has got to be explained.
THE CHAIRMAN: You are going to have more clearance problems, aren’t you?
MR. NOBLE: It is the combination now of the clearance problem and the problem of the Department and outside that causes this drop in output.
MR. WILSON: [Inaudible] Mr. Chairman, it seems to me, obviously, that we can’t emphasize things.
MR. NOBLE: You can say we have studied these problems and we know that.
MR. WILSON: Exactly.
MR. BERDAHL: We did last year, Bob, suggest that we did think increased personnel was necessary.
MR. WILSON: I know that, but you can’t say how much.
MR. LEOPOLD: Nor did we really spell out in our public report last year; we did in the private report. We didn’t spell out in the public report, on these problems of clearance, so that somebody on the Hill would understand why Bernard said your output has declined.
MR. GOODRICH: It seems to me that in that connection we have got to give more attention in our public report to the difficulties you are up against and give expression to the interest which the scholars whom we represent have in the work that you are doing, and having it done along certain lines. Because I think we have got to do something more than just advise you. We have got to serve as a channel for interesting other people in what is going on here and building up pressures outside.
Now this last year Clarence and myself were unable to get the public report published in the American Political Science Review because it was too general and so on. I think we have got to have something very specific and more detailed here that will interest our respective clientele and stir them up a bit.
MR. KRETZMANN: Rooney will question any increase in funds or for the Historical Division unless you come up with a really new approach to this. That’s the only way he will listen to it, and then he will argue you it down too. But his tendency is to hold all the funds exactly as last year, and even, if possible, to get them lower. He never looks at any new expansion or challenge. And you have got an awful battle to get it through the Bureau of the Budget first.
THE CHAIRMAN: You have to consider first the lay reaction to this as well as the professional reaction to this, because you are dealing with Congressmen and Senators as well as historians.
MR. NOBLE: One other thing: I think you have got to approach it also from the point of view that you can’t really expect to get the papers out day after tomorrow. That is to say, there has got to be a lag of apparently this present length, I think. Because we recognize, as well as our friends in the policy desk recognize, that there are problems which make it impossible to publish the documents very soon after occurrence. But even at that lag, if we are going to do our job, we have got to have additional resources.
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes. But there is a general consensus, isn’t it, that 20 years is about right?
MR. KRETZMANN: To be very honest, the trend inside the Department in the political offices is longer. The trend is longer. Our relations are getting so ramified and so complicated that there is a very strong feeling—I am talking now outside of the Secretary’s staff meeting as recently as yesterday—that the period ought to be longer. It is too sensitive.
THE CHAIRMAN: Of course, we probably feel, by committee record, that some of this business is a little absurd. On this China business—not that we seem to make any dint on anybody—it seems to me as much as is known is known about General Chiang Kai-shek and his way of doing business.
MR. KRETZMANN: I wouldn’t disagree with you. And this was not the particular point of issue in this discussion. I agree this is a special case, and it has its own unhappy history.
MR. FRANKLIN: And the antibiotics are working against you here. Twenty years in the early 19th century and the old crowd was all gone; now they are back in.
MR. PERKINS: I might say it seems to me people don’t come up with any specific cases to justify that point of view. A good illustration are the Yalta volumes. Now they did get into more or less of a hassle and mess on the Yalta volumes. The criticism made and the harm done, if there was any, was with regard to the particular method and circumstances of the release. As far as the content of that material is concerned, put out very much under what we are doing in our annual volumes, as far as I know there has been no harm done because those records have become public.
THE CHAIRMAN: I haven’t heard of any revolutionary change in our foreign policy.
MR. R. PERKINS: That would be certainly as sensitive a set of documents as you probably could find.
THE CHAIRMAN: In the case of a volume of that kind and the fact that it deals with such a wide historical interest—does it make it easier to get it out?
MR. NOBLE: The demands in the political campaign of ’52, you see.
THE CHAIRMAN: Of course, yes.
MR. BERDAHL: While we are speaking about this lag and so on, what is the status of these so-called current problems? There hasn’t been any since 1956, has there?
MR. NOBLE: That is correct. The 1957 volume will be out in a very few weeks. The 1958 volume is on the way. Actually, that is a larger undertaking than we had thought. It really has extraordinary coverage. It is extraordinarily well-organized, as I think you will admit— “a most useful document” everybody says that uses it. But it is still more than a one-man job.
THE CHAIRMAN: I bet it is.
MR. BERDAHL: What we have to expect is about a three-year lag on that.
MR. NOBLE: We are going to try to get it more close than that—a one-year lag.
THE CHAIRMAN: That is pretty good timing. The ’57 is out, you say. And the ’58 you say is in what stage?
MR. NOBLE: Oh, it is practically compiled, and I don’t think it has gone to the press.
THE CHAIRMAN: No clearance problems?
MR. NOBLE: No clearance problems.
MR. LEOPOLD: No clearance problems. It is already to publish. I quite agree that is extraordinarily useful, but I am not sure that it has made the impact on the professionals that it should have. I was put over the grill by the committee of the American Historical Association because I represent them on this committee. They said, “What is going on up there in your advisory committee?” This was the Committee on the Historians of the Federal Government. They weren’t hostile. I said, “Look, take this current volume.” Some people started scribbling down as though they never heard of it before.
MR. GOODRICH: This isn’t history, is it?
MR. LEOPOLD: This is a wedding of disciplines.
MR. NOBLE: We think it is.
MR. LEOPOLD: But I think at least in the historical profession it has—
MR. NOBLE: I get occasional letters asking urgently to be sent copies.
THE CHAIRMAN: It is surely available.
MR. LEOPOLD: And in our review of the Foreign Relations series I make a point of calling attention to it right in the review, so people are aware of it.
THE CHAIRMAN: You correct me if I am wrong. There is one other question here that I think we ought to discuss in the memorandum. There are quite a number of small matters, but I think they can be kept for our private session. I would like to hear more on paragraph 1, page 16. I would like to get some opinions from the members of the staff here, from which of you write editorial notes, on which you use more extensively and so forth in situations. Would you like to comment on that?
MR. NOBLE: Well, this problem of volume is one which, as you know, has been one of our most serious problems, and the difficulties combined with that add to that. The military, of course, have been able to come out— now they are going to celebrate the appearance of the 50th volume in that series. We have, as you see, put out 200 volumes. But, obviously, if we could follow somewhat the methods of the military historians in some documents, we could greatly save space. Instead of putting in many documents, if we could put in a very objective summary of them, we could avoid the delicate question of clearance, and still give the gist of the thing in many cases, we could save space. I feel that is a fair statement of the case.
THE CHAIRMAN: I have a very good reaction to that. I don’t know how the members of the committee feel. That’s that paragraph on page 16.
MR. NOBLE: I point out here that we have used this to an extent already—very, very slight extent, in relation to the 1933 volumes, or in the 1933 volumes. We left out a whole section of the materials on that Chamizal case involving the boundary between Texas and Mexico, and explained quite frankly as a matter of fact—didn’t we Ralph?—what it was all about. And we managed to get clearance from policy officers, and we are doing that somewhat in the Volume V of 1940. That’s where we have to leave out. But I think we can go beyond that, and actually summarize a number of papers, and save more space. But that’s something that needs experimenting with, and needs discussion I think.
THE CHAIRMAN: Is there on your staff any opposition to that technique? Is there feeling of difficulty about it?
MR. NOBLE: I haven’t heard any. Ralph, what do you say?
MR. R. PERKINS: Well, of course, you can see we have two different situations we are speaking about here. Now one is the kind of situation we have, for example, actually at that time on clearance—they didn’t want to even mention such a place. We obviously could not summarize the documents. All we did say was that there were negotiations with regard to water boundaries, which we were operating on, because the negotiations had not been completed.
Another case in point is the documentation on the boundary dispute between Peru and Ecuador where there actually was military action taken, and we had to, in clearance, leave out a very sizeable chunk of documentation. Now all we said about that was that military operations took place, and we are leaving this out.
MR. WILSON: Did the reader expect that he could read one day the full story?
MR. R. PERKINS: That would bring up a question of going back years past and digging stuff up. I should think probably not. I should think probably some day the papers will be open for research.
Now the other case would be to save space on a matter which we did not think justified printing a long set of documentation, where we put in a note that would simply cover the substance and perhaps give some citations.
THE CHAIRMAN: And that you don’t find objectionable necessarily?
MR. R. PERKINS: Now if we really feel that the documentation is not of sufficient importance to really warrant giving a great deal of space to it—
MR. KRETZMANN: This would, I think, greatly relieve the clearance problem. Because you have a whole series of documents on the subject, and new names get injected, and that’s where the problems arise.
THE CHAIRMAN: Some of these questions we have are on personalities who are still alive and might be bothered.
MR. LEOPOLD: Isn’t there a middle ground on that though. As I understood Ralph’s answer it was that where you came to a subject that there was a lot of documentation, which might or might not involve names, that you would just have a summary of the problem without printing any documents.
MR. R. PERKINS: Of course, that is done—
MR. LEOPOLD: Now some time earlier I thought I heard the suggestion that you would exercise greater selectivity on some documents and summarize the rest.
MR. R. PERKINS: In the first case, under Canada, you see, we have a long list of executive agreements with Canada, 1942, for which we would merely print a bracketed note citing executive agreements and United States stands. And we do not print any correspondence. Some people know that such agreements were made, but in that case we did not think the correspondence justified. Either we did not have correspondence on them—because it was the State Department, naturally, that drew up these agreements—or we did not think they were sufficiently important to warrant printing correspondence.
Now the other case, as you say, we could cut down. Of course, there is a serious danger of running into the criticism, if we do it for the purpose of getting over the stuff we can’t clear, that you are putting in these bracketed notes to cover up. You see, in your bracketed note you can’t say anything very specific about the nature of the material that is being omitted.
MR. LEOPOLD: Wasn’t your point of view originally, however, that we were doing this to save space—not to get rid of material that you couldn’t clear?
MR. R. PERKINS: Now in that case, Dexter brought up the subject, for example, of the exchange of officials and non-officials. Well, there the Department got into somewhat of an operational procedure, and to tell the story extensively we had to use lots of documentation.
Now it may be from the standpoint of historical prospective that was not necessary. Maybe it would have been sufficient to put in the agreements for exchange and a bracketed note telling the substance. It might have been used. I suppose that’s the kind of thing you mean.
THE CHAIRMAN: That’s the kind of thing, without being dogmatic about it.
MR. LEOPOLD: I still have the feeling that Ralph wants all or nothing—that either you print a large section or you print a bracketed note. And I am trying to see whether there is some little ground for the interest of saving space only.
MR. R. PERKINS: In the interest of saving space we probably would not have too much difficulty to draft a bracketed note. It would be pretty hard where the reason we are leaving it out is a clearance problem. And in those cases I don’t think our policy officers would appreciate it if we say we are leaving this out because we can’t get it cleared.
THE CHAIRMAN: Do your clearance problems tend to be longer in time, as well as more numerous?
MR. NOBLE: As we go along?
THE CHAIRMAN: Yes.
MR. NOBLE: You mean longer in time?
THE CHAIRMAN: I mean by that is the time it takes to get a thing cleared increasing?
MR. NOBLE: Would you agree that it has, Mr. Phillips?
MR. PHILLIPS: Yes. I mean take this Peru-Ecuador thing. It is a very hot issue now today.
MR. KRETZMANN: Not in the paper, but behind the scenes at least.
MR. PHILLIPS: The Ecuadorians have denounced, not officially but unofficially, the protocol and the present President of Peru was the President of Peru when they had this war, and the documentation contains a great many derogatory remarks made about him by our people, and, as one of the guarantors, anything we say about the protocol guaranteeing the treaty is going to be taken wrong one place or the other.
MR. KRETZMANN: Both places probably.
MR. PHILLIPS: Both places.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, I think we have some idea of how the problem shapes up.
MR. NOBLE: I think we ought to hear from a few more of our staff.
MR. FRANKLIN: There is a third type of editorial note we have heard about too, a third type. Most examples already in print are in the Yalta volume. We know about a meeting or discussion that took place and we have no document on it. We put in an editorial note giving citations to authoritative private publications or other official publications in lieu of our own documents we don’t have.
MR. CHURCHILL: There is one more variation about this and that is issued in the footnote. To considerable degree, in the compilation on the Soviet Union, I have used perhaps a considerable number of footnotes which I have used only as an excerpt from some other document, so that I don’t have to print the whole thing, but can take out the point that applies to one in a document that is being printed. And that has been done I think rather more in the collections on the Soviet Union to hold them down in space and to cut out a whole lot of other information or comment which is not necessary. So that, on the whole, that has resulted in a considerable reduction in space. It does not reduce the time required, however, to put these things in readable form, and with perfectly honest excision of the point that applies, without the rest of the document being show, which often is quite long.
MR. KRETZMANN: Perhaps some such procedure would take care of one of the other problems in clearance. You know we always get this argument when Bernard and I go to talk to these boys about this: that the printing of the full document with all of the ambassadors’ and ministers’ comments on the personality of the man he is dealing with and so on will inhibit in the future frank reporting, and if he knows that this in 20 years or less is going to be printed, what he has said, he won’t be as frank as he is or should be. And this is a hard one to meet. But if we could take the best document that describes the issue, and then fill it in with footnotes or so on, it seems to me we would get away from a great many of our clearance problems.
MR. CHURCHILL: A good many times the things that I can excerpt are something that will be of that nature. But by not printing the whole of it and just quoting a few essential words, you get the sum and substance of it.
MR. FRANKLIN: Look what the Army has brought out in their history series. I think it is a beautiful illustration of how the documentary series, although more solid, is a combination of straitjacket and anchor. They have been able to describe, without difficulty, in page after page the top political strategic decisions of these war-time conferences. We are still plugging along trying to get the actual document out on it. We have a citation often, because there was something elsewhere in the documents of no real consequence, but they wrote up the gist of it.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think our responsibility there is that whether or not we agree with all those cantankerous people the digest means that some grisly facts have been concealed. But that’s where we come in our educational function I think to make people see, with any brains at all, that you can’t publish everything all the time.
MR. NOBLE: One case that I recall was a 1939 volume that we discussed, and we agreed that in one document we could put a brief three, four, or five lines stating what the general trend was, and stating that it was a case that you obviously couldn’t put the whole thing in.
THE CHAIRMAN: It doesn’t offend me at all. It offends some people that don’t understand the problem.
MR. LEOPOLD: It makes Ralph and his staff a problem. They have got to exercise more judgment in the beginning as to what they can do or not do.
MR. R. PERKINS: I don’t think everybody will be as charitable as Dexter in their opinions of us. I can conceive we might be held up as first-class scoundrels. We have to avoid giving the impression that when we do that it is just not to cover up.
THE CHAIRMAN: That’s true. And this is our experience where we can be helpful to you.
MR. R. PERKINS: Of course, our critics outside have a wrong impression of the reasons why we leave out material. In most cases they think that the State Department is up to some deviltry, or the Administration is up to some deviltry and we are trying to cover up for them, which is not the case.
MR. LEOPOLD: Well, has the criticism, say, in the last four years or so, been of this nature? I thought it was a question of emphasis and present mindedness.
MR. GOODRICH: Different kind of deviltry.
MR. R. PERKINS: Sheer incompetence, that’s all.
MR. LEOPOLD: I mean they have either got to have extracts or 40 years—this is what it is going to amount to in the time level.
MR. NOBLE: This Potsdam episode, so to speak, brought out these sorts of criticism.
MR. KRETZMANN: This is an election year atmosphere you are working in. We have had more correspondence from Senator Fulbright this year than for a long time.
MR. GOODRICH: Maybe this point has been made, but coming back to this chapter on the exchange of official and non-officials I wonder whether or not there are a lot of documents that can be summarized for adequate purposes for the record. And I don’t think there would be any problem there of concealment. No one is going to be accused.
THE CHAIRMAN: The question of abridgment is a question. There has been some relationship whether the question can be made into a hot question by some misguided person. I think abridgment would be regarded tolerantly where no great political issue or emotion was involved.
You think that you want to stand— We seem to be rambling a bit, but I think we have covered the points we wanted to discuss. You think the decision you made— We can’t communicate the files to individuals outside of the Department until the books have been published, is that right?
MR. NOBLE: Well, I think it is an unfortunate decision made necessary by the circumstances. Obviously, we can’t afford to give out material that will be used in the press in a sensational story. But if we took greater precautions. Probably we may be partly to blame in not having said these must not be printed until this volume is out. We didn’t have a contract, so to speak.
THE CHAIRMAN: You would have to take that.
MR. NOBLE: We would have to take that. Don’t you think so?
MR. KRETZMANN: We were forced to this decision, that is, in the release of August 23. Incidentally, the Secretary was down in San Jose at the time and I wrote it here and sent it to him, and he approved it down there. But this makes Mr. Berding and me very happy because we never were happy with this previous access to certain people. In this case it was very bad. And it gave us the opportunity to put the lid back on, which we had been forced to take off.
MR. NOBLE: Of course, I think the historians generally agree that Herbert Feis has done a fine job in doing the books he has done, and unfortunately his book came out considerably ahead of our volume.
MR. KRETZMANN: You see, Mr. Berding and I can’t make the distinction and say, “Mr. Feis is a historian and responsible. Scotty Reston is not, and Marquis Childs is not, or Walter Lippmann is not.” We are not going to do this. Thank you very much. But this doesn’t hold water, you see—that there is one special group. So we have just closed the door, and we are very happy to leave it closed if you will let us.
MR. NOBLE: One point you made [to Mr. Kretzmann] and I think you [The Chairman] made—that this effects the reporting. We have had a precise illustration of that, or at least the threat of that.
MR. NUERMBERGER: Just on the question of how our policy publication might effect the reporting and say memoranda of conversation that actually was stated, I have talked to one or two Foreign Service Officers and this particularly in the American Republics Area, where you can’t really pin them down. They say that “In our talks when we record a conversation we do have a tendency now—and the way they told it to me was somewhat general in the area—we will not put in that memorandum of conversation what we said. In other words, the memorandum of conversation will be blank in so far as what our man said to the other official. For this very reason: that sometime it will be published.” I said, “Well, you have a veto over these documents when it comes to you. I mean I wouldn’t want to be your successor when I get your record to carry along.”
MR. KRETZMANN: This is an extreme case, and I would like to consider this an empty threat. I have heard similar ones. I think the Foreign Service Officer who does that is remiss in his primary duties, and should be so disciplined if he does. I have heard these arguments. I have chosen to consider them as sort of empty threats. They don’t like the publications, Dick, I think that’s true in ARA. Frankly, that isn’t the only hazardous profession.
THE CHAIRMAN: Bernard suggests that we adjourn at this point and go down and see the board on the operations and the—
MR. NOBLE: The last section here is on planning, as you know. I know you are very much interested in that, and our staff has set up a board which shows how it can function, and I think you ought to see it and have it explained to you. Would you like to go down and see it?
Then just another word. We will have to be on this floor at one o’clock, the members of the committee, and after that we will go down to the files and see a demonstration of the operations. And then you will have time for reading here and we will have the things here for you as soon after two o’clock as possible. Then, we thought you might like to see some of the new areas of the building It is really quite interesting. That will be around five o’clock, if you can get your homework done.
MR. KRETZMANN: Are you leaving classified papers here? If you are, we will have to take steps.
MR. NOBLE: How about that, Gus?
MR. NUERMBERGER: We will take care of that.
[Whereupon, at 12:30 p.m., the meeting was adjourned.]
Transcript of November 5 Session of the 1960 Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Foreign Relations of the United States
9:05 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.
Members of the Committee:
- Dr. Dexter Perkins, Chairman
- Dr. Clarence A. Berdahl
- Dr. Leland M. Goodrich
- Dr. Fred H. Harrington
- Dr. Richard W. Leopold
- Dr. Philip W. Thayer
- Mr. Robert R. Wilson
Representing the Department of State:
- Edwin N. J. Kretzmann, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs
- G. Bernard Noble, P/HO
- Velma J. Cassidy, P/HO
- Rogers P. Churchill, P/HO
- John T. Dreyfuss, RAR/P
- William M. Franklin, P/HO
- Milan W. Jerabek, EUR
- Gustave A. Nuermberger, P/HO
- Ernest Ralph Perkins, P/HO
- Richard I. Phillips, ARA
- Robert M. Phillips, WST
- Richard A. Poole, WST
- Newton O. Sappington, P/HO
- V. Voce
[The Committee was reconvened at 9:05 a.m., Mr. Dexter Perkins presiding.]
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we want to spend a considerable part of the time this morning in Executive Session. On the agenda for discussion as the first item, however, is the study of the question regarding Departmental papers and we might take a little time on that.
8. Discussion of Questions Involved in Reading of Department Papers
THE CHAIRMAN: I think all of us have read some of the papers and some of us have read most of them. I don’t think we have found ourselves in disagreement with the Department very often and, as far as the Latin American papers you want to pay particular attention to—and in almost every case I went along with Ralph Perkins and his point of view—we were shocked at the position of the CIA with regard to the documents. It seems to me it was very skillfully answered by Ralph. A great deal of material was excluded which is perfectly well known. But perhaps some of the rest of the members of the committee will want to say something about the documentation which we examined yesterday afternoon. Do you want to comment, Clarence?
MR. BERDAHL: No, I don’t think I have any comment.
THE CHAIRMAN: We found, as a matter of fact, we were so much in agreement with the Department that the time we spent on it was not altogether satisfactory. If you need it to buttress your point of view—
MR. NOBLE: It is helpful.
THE CHAIRMAN: But there is only one thing I would like to say with regard to the material I examined and that is, as I say, I thought that Ralph’s points were almost universally taken. I think we want to discuss in Executive Session a summarization of documents, where there were some deletions and where we can’t make an issue of it very easily. I have very little to say on that subject. Perhaps some of the other members have more to say.
MR. LEOPOLD: The only thing you haven’t mentioned was the additional material that you had gleaned that could be inserted in the ’42 volume. It seemed to me, as I read that over—and I know Leland Goodrich agreed—this was very useful information.
THE CHAIRMAN: I would agree with that. Well, I think we will go into Executive Session, unless there are comments from the staff or the committee.
MR. NOBLE: If that is the way you feel about it.
THE CHAIRMAN: If you want us to say we do have the support of the Division, I think that we can.
MR. NOBLE: I think in your report we ought to say something specifically about those volumes, if you can because it would be helpful to us. Although I realize operations probably hasn’t seemed as important to you as it does to us, it can be helpful to us in bolstering our point of view and in making it clear just what your views are.
MR. LEOPOLD: Well, Bernard, in that connection, I was talking informally with Dexter and a couple of the other members last night before and after dinner and the thought occurred to me perhaps this year we could say everything we needed to say that should be said in a public report, in other words, submit perhaps this year only one report. Now, if we did that, then we would have to be very general, wouldn’t we, about these specific items that we were examining yesterday?
MR. NOBLE: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: Again, we really don’t differ, that is the point. I went through all of the Latin American material yesterday and I find, as I say, myself in accord with the point of view of the Department. We can say that, of course.
MR. LEOPOLD: Getting back to that point, how does this matter of submitting only one report this year appeal to you?
MR. NOBLE: I think, in view of the statement you just made, it might be the reasonable thing to do. There are always things which I assume you might want to say privately.
MR. LEOPOLD: We can make a separate memorandum. The reason I said that is apparently the political scientists felt last year that there was so little in the public report that was worth reprinting that they didn’t reprint it, is that right?
MR. BERDAHL: Yes.
MR. LEOPOLD: It seems to me the public reports were becoming innocuous.
MR. NOBLE: I’d much prefer you put your great emphasis on that and if there is anything incidental you want to say to us, why do so.
MR. BERDAHL: Of course last year we referred to the specific items in clearance problems.
MR. NOBLE: Yes. You couldn’t do that in a public report.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we would have something to say in the public report about clearance problems probably. I don’t think the question is understood, however. I certainly don’t think the desk officers always understand what it is we are objecting to, as was indicated by a number of the materials we went over yesterday. I don’t want to foreclose discussion by any members of the staff in the Division here but if there is nothing more to be said about that, we will go into Executive Session.
MR. R. PERKINS: Mr. Chairman, I was wondering if you want to have any comment at all from the policy officers who are present here?
MR. LEOPOLD: We have come to this conclusion going over the material. Maybe the desk officers will want to say something more in reply to our hastening conclusion.
MR. NOBLE: Mr. Phillips, how about that?
MR. R. I. PHILLIPS: All right. Do you have any particular special item you would rather hear about among the three? There are only three, I believe, now that cannot be settled between ourselves and the Historical Office— the Ecuador-Peru boundary dispute, the U.S. and Chile Hemisphere defense, and the Reciprocal Trade Agreement with Peru.
THE CHAIRMAN: Brazil, was that it?
MR. R. I. PHILLIPS: No. That is an area which has withdrawn.
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t know who besides myself saw the Latin American materials yesterday. Do you feel the material on Peru-Ecuador might not be published at the present time?
MR. THAYER: Yes.
THE CHAIRMAN: So do I. What was the other one?
MR. R. I. PHILLIPS: The efforts to secure cooperation between the U. S. and Chile on certain measures of hemispheric defense and the negotiations leading to the signing of the Reciprocal Trade Agreement between the United States and Peru.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think in the case of the Chile documents, this reads a lot in detail. But I was not adverse to leaving matters stand the way they are.
MR. THAYER: That is just the way I felt about it.
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t think there were any serious questions at issue there.
MR. NOBLE: You mean you agreed with them?
THE CHAIRMAN: We agreed with the deletions.
MR. R. I. PHILLIPS: There were a couple of objections that we withdrew so that left us on page 7-JJC. We withdraw our objection with inclusion of Embassy Telegram 478 and on page 17 we withdraw our objection of including the last paragraph of the Departmental memorandum of conversation of November 6th.
MR. NOBLE: Have you done that formally?
MR. R. I. PHILLIPS: We deleted it from the memorandum and somehow or other when the galley proof came back it had this notation on it indicating that we were still on record as opposing the inclusion of these items, you see.
MR. NOBLE: Yes.
MR. R. I. PHILLIPS: So we had actually deleted them. That is, we had dropped our objection to the inclusion of those two items. But I had just done it by scratching it out on the memorandum.
MR. NOBLE: I see. Do you have those items?
MR. SAPPINGTON: We have the galleys, yes.
MR. NOBLE: I was wondering what the state of the record was on that.
MR. SAPPINGTON: I don’t believe we have your reply on that.
THE CHAIRMAN: We agreed with the desk officers, as a matter of fact, on the points involved there. Isn’t that correct?
MR. THAYER: That’s right, yes.
MR. R. I. PHILLIPS: I misunderstood, I thought you agreed with the Historical Officer.
THE CHAIRMAN: On the Peru-Ecuador thing, we thought it ought not to be published. We didn’t really have time enough to do what we should have done.
MR. LEOPOLD: We were more fascinated by the other things.
MR. R. I. PHILLIPS: On the Reciprocal Trade Agreement with Peru—
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we can take a look at them again if you want us to. If you want us to give some more study to the Latin American documents, some of the other members of the committee can take a look at them. We don’t take a position at all. On the CIA documents we entirely disagree with the position of the CIA.
MR. BERDAHL: Oh, yes, 100 percent.
MR. THAYER: I think Mr. Phillips had one more Latin American matter.
THE CHAIRMAN: What’s the other Latin American matter?
MR. R. I. PHILLIPS: The Reciprocal Trade Agreement with Peru, negotiations leading to the signing of the Reciprocal Trade Agreement with Peru.
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t think I saw that one. I’m afraid we missed that one. We had so many documents.
MR. POOLE: They were minor deletions, one in its entirety and about three sentences scattered throughout the document.
THE CHAIRMAN: we can look at that before we adjourn this afternoon.
MR. NOBLE: Could we have a summary of it while they are here?
THE CHAIRMAN: Do you want to discuss it now? Do you have that?
MR. POOLE: I don’t know what the objections of the Historical Division are.
MR. R. PERKINS: Just what is it? Have we discussed this with them?
MR. GOODRICH: Is this about establishing a tire factory and all that sort of thing?
MR. SAPPINGTON: Yes.
MR. GOODRICH: I think I have that here and I looked at it and I didn’t see any particular reason why it should be omitted. Maybe I missed a point.
MR. R. PERKINS: The objection was made by the policy people in the WST office. There was 1942 clearance. At the time this came back we had a number of issues up getting 1941 cleared with ARA. So we decided rather than to throw too many issues into the discussion at once we would postpone this discussion and we have not made any reply to ARA on this. So, since we have received your memorandum we have not discussed this.
MR. POOLE: I’d be happy to answer any questions, but I don’t know what they are.
MR. R. PERKINS: I think what my comment was is that we don’t know just what the reasons were why it should be left out.
THE CHAIRMAN: I don’t want to take too much time on a point of this scale this morning.
MR. R. PERKINS: I think this is something we can discuss with the policy officers.
THE CHAIRMAN: I wish you would. And if you want our help maybe we can take it up again this afternoon.
MR. NOBLE: In that case, we better thank you gentlemen for coming.
THE CHAIRMAN: I think we will go into Executive Session at this point.
[Whereupon at 9:25 a.m. the Committee met in Executive Session but reconvened at 11:30 a.m., at which time Deputy Assistant Secretary John F. Steeves discussed the reasons for FE’s objections to the release of Volume V, 1941, Far East, and the 1943 volume on China.]
[Mr. Steeves’ remarks are summarized as follows:]
The Volume V on Thailand, 1941, was taken up first and the reasons for objections to its release were, in brief, that the individuals involved still were such that publication would be damaging to Thailand’s relations. The representatives of Thailand and Cambodia were presently participating in a meeting in New York City in an attempt to work out something, but if this volume were published it might be damaging to that peaceful settlement they were trying to work out.
With regard to the China series, the situation had not changed substantially and the Department was still opposed to the release of these volumes at this time.
THE CHAIRMAN: What do the members of the committee want to question Mr. Steeves on?
MR. FRANKLIN: In the Thai-Cambodia question, would this really be bringing out material which is quite varied? Would it be a flashing revelation of something unknown to the people who count in Cambodia?
MR. STEEVES: I just don’t know. Those unsympathetic to coming together with the Thais and reaching rapprochement would probably use it as further documentation that they now do not know exists in our papers, but which they suspect, of course, we just give them additional documentation and proof of what a lot of them feel.
MR. NOBLE: So far as Pibul Songgram is concerned, what’s his position? How do you estimate that? He is the one who is most importantly concerned.
MR. STEEVES: So far as Pibul Songgram’s part was concerned, I think even last year we said that it was possible that papers with respect to him might not be as much of a problem now as they were a couple of years ago, three years ago.
MR. BERDAHL: Your remarks, I take it, relate not only to the future publication but to the volume that is ready for release?
MR. STEEVES: Yes. There is one of these volumes that is in question which has been published and held.
MR. KRETZMANN: That is the 141 volume.
MR. NOBLE: The ’41 and ’43 on China. May I refer to the statement made by Mr. Parsons last year, who came down to talk to the group also. He said that we ought to consider preparing all the volumes for publication together. One volume on ’43 on China is being held up and case-bound and the other 13 are in various stages of preparation. Some of the ’44’s are in page numbers and the others are all in galleys except three volumes of ’49. Mr. Parsons suggestion was that we might get them all ready for publication simultaneously. Now, that is a very interesting idea. If we did that, it would imply that we could get in the preparation of them and publication clearance would be given, so that obviously we couldn’t put them in case-bound form without having them cleared first. The question is whether we could have them cleared and get them all ready for publication when they were all published. Would you mind commenting on that, as to the possibility?
MR. STEEVES: It’s a new thought to me.
MR. KRETZMANN: John, before you do, I think we should mention another question behind this is, of course, the special kind of series that was asked for by the committee in ’53, one of the things which has been discussed here in this group yesterday, whether that is a good idea still or whether perhaps we shouldn’t just say let’s put the China volumes back in the regular series. But last year we were talking in terms of publishing the China series, but just getting them all ready and then hoping that the time will come when we can release the whole batch. I think you need that background.
MR. STEEVES: I didn’t know that Mr. Parsons commented on this last year, so my opinion on it is very much of a kind of ad hoc one that I add here right now. I think the only thing that I would say is that when they are in ready form they are subject to greater pressure for release than when they are not in ready form.
MR. KRETZMANN: Well, it always stands out to the tabulation.
MR. STEEVES: Congressional pressures and things of that nature, also leakages, are much easier once they are in the volume form and finished.
MR. NOBLE: You may know that the first ten volumes of the 1941 Volume V were actually sold by the Superintendent of Documents on the basis of requests for them, the requests for the coming publication being known and advertised by Volume IV, which was released. So the 10 volumes are in the public domain.
MR. STEEVES: I know that.
MR. NOBLE: There is the other question to which Mr. Kretzmann referred.
MR. KRETZMANN: Would you like to address yourself to that John? Do you think the pressures for the China series which were generated in ’53 in the ’50 political atmosphere are such that we have to go ahead with this special kind of series? Or can we make an effort to simply ask the committee of Congress?
MR. STEEVES: Again, without having the benefit of full discussion of it, my comment I’m afraid is a rather ad hoc one, but I wouldn’t see any more reason for doing a special Chinese series than I would in doing a special Japan series or any other area.
MR. KRETZMANN: You know this was bound up with the volumes on war-time conferences which commitment we have fulfilled or are in the process of fulfilling.
MR. STEEVES: Considering the volume which is going through this building now on Laos, we will have to have a Laos series sometime.
MR. KRETZMANN: I hope not.
MR. LEOPOLD: The thought was that if these were incorporated back with the annual volumes when they were released they wouldn’t stick out so much as a sore thumb.
MR. STEEVES: I would think they wouldn’t stick out so and it would be better to be incorporated in a regular series rather than a special series.
THE CHAIRMAN: It’s something to take note of.
MR. KRETZMANN: When we go up for our appropriations we are going to have to answer these questions: Where are your China series and how are you coming along on it? Is this a time to make a pitch and say, “We looked at this and we have decided it’s better to put them in the regular series”?
THE CHAIRMAN: Just what was the form of the Congressional action with regard to the China series? Did they request the division to do this?
MR. NOBLE: They requested the publication of the China series. The resolution was stated not precisely, shall we say, as explicitly as the members interpreted it to mean, because it spoke about war-time conferences and the volumes on China; and then bringing the Foreign Relations Board farther down to date, we knew from private conversations with them and from the letters that had been written to the Secretary what they meant. They meant that the war-time conferences and the China series should be published separately. The resolution itself didn’t mention them specifically but the letters which had been written did mention them specifically, from Senator Knowland and other Senators. So we had to interpret the resolution in terms of the discussions and communications.
MR. KRETZMANN: You get into this area of forwarding the intent of Congress.
MR. BERDAHL: Wasn’t it an action of the Senate Appropriations Committee?
MR. NOBLE: Oh, yes, that’s right.
MR. BERDAHL: No House action whatever.
MR. NOBLE: The action of the Appropriations Committee of the Senate.
MR. STEEVES: What year was it, 1953, that this suggestion was made?
MR. NOBLE: It was the Spring of ’53.
MR. KRETZMANN: You were given money for that too, weren’t you?
MR. NOBLE: They increased it from the previous fiscal year to $112 thousand.
THE CHAIRMAN: What would be the procedure if one was to publi8h the volume and incorporate the China documents?
MR. NOBLE: When you speak of incorporating it, remember that this China series already is separated into volumes for the most part and there are actually—Ralph can correct me if I’m wrong—14 volumes and it would be difficult to incorporate them other than giving them a number perhaps along with the others because there are so many volumes. You have the material for the volumes and you can’t very well incorporate other materials in that if you have a whole volume strictly on China for, say, 1945, and three volumes for 1946, something like that.
MR. R. PERKINS: I think the chief trouble there would be also in the preface. You see, the series has been announced and naturally in future years they get 1942 and 1943 which is already bound, so naturally the readers are going to look for the later volume. So when we do publish these volumes we would have to incorporate them into the annual volumes. We would have to have an explanation in the preface that this is what has become of the China series—the China series is discontinued.
MR. STEEVES: In terms of the printer and cost, has this operation gone on so far that it would cause serious disruption and therefore cost in changing your mind in going back and incorporating them in the regular series?
MR. R. PERKINS: Not except the 1943 volume, which is already bound of course.
MR. STEEVES: That would have to be actually thrown away and printed up again?
MR. LEOPOLD: Since the ’42 one is already out, you would have to leave two deviations, wouldn’t you, Ralph?
MR. R. PERKINS: Make it a series of two.
MR. KRETZMANN: Well, ’42-43, you’re in round currency anyway. You just have to say they will be coming out regularly. This is the answer we can’t make at this point.
MR. R. PERKINS: The ’43 volume could be changed by typing in pages, which of course raises some question. We did at one time type in 11 pages and pointed out to the appropriate Committee of Congress that all these pages had been typed in after the volume had been bound.
MR. NOBLE: Well, I think there is no serious problem there. We can publish the China volume in, say, ’43 when the other ’43 volumes are published and the ’44 could be given, say, “Foreign Relations Volume” on so-and-so, sub-head “China”. It would be a separate volume, but there is no great problem there. The question is whether it would be agreeable to have us issue, say, the 1943 China volume when we issue and publish the other volumes of ’43 and so on into ’49.
MR. KRBTZMANN: John, can I argue on your side for a moment?
MR. STEEVES: Sure, delighted to have you.
MR. KRETZMANN: I can see a great problem coming up within this next year on these China series and if they are bound and ready, although they don’t want to go back that far, ’42 and ’43, the pressures for us to put out our official documents about relations with China I think are going to grow immensely. Now, if they find out that you have got your volumes more or less ready up through ’49, I think the pressures to get these out and to the public domain is going to become almost irresistible.
MR. GOODRICH: From whom? Pressures from whom?
MR. KRETZMANN: Congress.
MR. R. PERKINS: From appropriations hearings they know that we have these volumes ready.
MR. KRETZMANN: I know.
MR. THAYER: That is where this all started.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, are there any other questions to be addressed to Mr. Steeves in any other commentary? [None] You have satisfied us for the time being.
MR. STEEVES: Thank you.
MR. HARRINGTON: We share with you the concern about the general point that we are facing a period of increasing difficulty because of sensitivity, but of course along with the increasing sensitivity for the diplomatic people there is the greater importance to the public and to the scholar of this material. So somehow or other the position of the scholar and the general public needs to be recognized too.
MR. STEEVES: I know it. There is a balance in there somewhere. I’m afraid I’m just not competent to pass judgment on it, because you could interpret it so strictly if you just decided to do away with the idea of ever publishing them, they would stay a classified document.
MR. GOODRICH: I take it it’s a policy problem. If for any reason our China policy should be modified, we should keep, let us say, or establish relations with the Peiping Government, why then the problem no longer exists.
MR. STEEVES: We certainly would have to look at it from a different viewpoint. It might be a problem from another angle then.
THE CHAIRMAN: What we find from time to time is, even in some extreme cases, publication of things which have been objected to, have already been published in a book of some kind or the facts which ought to be concealed have been discussed frequently in literature on the subject. And we had a very interesting example this year, during this session, of materials which we studied, most of which were already well known in the public domain as far as data were concerned. And this is one of the aspects of the problem that concerns us, of course.
MR. STEEVES: I know when I asked about this one time I was given what seemed to me to be a pretty good answer to that one though, that although the facts are out in other form, that it doesn’t have quite the impact nor the ring of authenticity that it would have when it comes out under the seal of the Department of State.
MR. KRETZMANN: Dexter, if I could change your word, you used a very unhappy word to me, the question of concealment. To us it’s a question of official confirmation in those cases where it has already been written by other writers, but what causes us to hesitate is do we want to put official confirmation on these facts? It’s not a matter of concealment, I might say, because we don’t deny the authenticity or the truth of these.
MR. GOODRICH: Could I ask this question: Would the political impact of the publication of these documents be less if they came out more or less routinely year by year instead of this question of publication being continually held up? We are now publishing the ’42 volume. The ’42 volume is out. When you get ’43, the ’44 volumes are published as a matter of routine along with the other volume. Would that lessen the political impact of publication?
MR. STEEVES: Yes, I would say if you finally decided to face it and come out anyway, then of course to come out routinely would be better than to make it look as if it was a sudden decision to release and let it go.
MR. R. PERKINS: That is the situation we have got into because of these volumes being held up. It was the general practice when the Foreign Relations were compiled when it was published it would be released. Then they decided not to release it at this time. Now, when they do release it, it’s going to raise the question, why are you releasing it at this particular time? So it seems to me it’s very unfortunate that the timing of release should be always considered from the immediate political angle.
MR. GOODRICH: I think it was unfortunate largely because this publication of the series was based on political grounds too.
MR. FRANKLIN: The same thing was true of the supplementary volumes of the conferences.
MR. GOODRICH: This is a period that corresponds roughly with the time of the publication of the Foreign Relations but the China volumes is a different matter.
MR. NOBLE: I must say there would be embarrassment in building it up with a view to publishing them altogether because from year to year we would be accumulating more volumes that were case-bound and we would have to account for our activities here in some way to the Appropriations Committee of the House and Senate and we would have to tell them, in other words, that we are accumulating some volumes here that are case-bound, that is how we have been doing some of our activities, and that would become increasingly embarrassing. The other method would be far better, of course, if we could get them published from year to year in a regular series.
May I ask one other question? Do you anticipate any time in the reasonable near future in which the 1941 volume might be released?
MR. STEEVES: You’ re asking me?
MR. NOBLE: Yes. Do you have in mind any time in the near future when it might be released?
MR. STEEVES: It could only be a pure guess on my part as to whether or not this particular series of events surrounding two or three people’s names changes but I would hope that the situation might be a little bit better next year. One individual’s star has dimmed quite a bit, so whatever is said about him, if it continues to go in that direction wouldn’t mean merely as much a year from now as it does now, and it wouldn’t mean as much this year as it did last year, except for these talks that are going on.
MR. NOBLE: Prince Wan is so slightly involved.
THE CHAIRMAN: Any other comment?
MR. FRANKLIN: Was the reference to the possible need for future British clearance made with regard to the Thai documentation or the Chinese?
MR. STEEVES: Chinese.
MR. FRANKLIN: Isn’t the British position abundantly known on that subject?
MR. STEEVES: I would have to go back into the document because my notes that were done on this do not make reference to the actual document. Last year I pulled out the documents concerned and read them all before last year, but I haven’t done that this year, the sections in question. So I’m not quite prepared to answer that specifically. We could do a little research on that and find out for you the actual documents involved in that question.
MR. FRANKLIN: I thought if there was anything in there that bothered you we would clear that up. Mr. Churchill has gone far out of his way about his annoyance at the constant American dealings with Chiang in 1943-44, etc., etc. And Mr. Churchill seems to be very authoritative. We wouldn’t have anything really to add or subtract to those documents from what he has said. If that is the nature of the difficulty, perhaps we could look it up and see.
MR. STEEVES: That being true, the historians of 1980 will find it very interesting to read some documents of more recent years as against those.
THE CHAIRMAN: Well, what do you suggest now?
MR. NOBLE: I thought I would like to make a suggestion. But, first a question. Our agenda for this afternoon called for a report back by the committee on its private session and I’d like first to ask what your pleasure is on that, as to whether you would like to have some further discussion on it or whether, on the basis of the discussion we have had you feel that you are ready to proceed with the final preparation of the report. What’s the view of the committee with regard to the deliberations this morning? Would you like to have us go over the ground which we covered with you, Ed and Bill and Ralph?
MR. GOODRICH: I think we have more matters to discuss. We have some more matters to discuss first. Ed tells me he has some other things he wanted to say.
MR. KRETZMANN: I haven’t finished my thesis yet.
THE CHAIRMAN: You mean other matters to discuss, matters that we have not discussed?
MR. GOODRICH: Ed says he hasn’t finished his thesis and he has a speech on this.
MR. KRETZMANN: No, no. [OFF THE RECORD]
[Whereupon at 12:10 p.m. the Committee sat in Executive Session.]